The STAS is the major prevention component of California's Homeland Security Strategy. The STAS is designed to detect, deter, and prevent homeland security threats to the citizens and critical infrastructure of California. The prevention methodology is based on public safety and private sector partnerships in information sharing, analysis, and investigative support.
There are many counterterrorism and homeland security entities in California because of several factors, including its geographical and population size and its importance as a major gateway to Mexico and the Pacific Rim.
The STAS partnership brings together federal, state, local, and tribal authorities and their respective law enforcement and private sector partners, public safety, and criminal information systems, including those of DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The STAS provides local public safety connectivity, incorporates existing fusion and information analysis and sharing initiatives, and complements federal homeland security efforts.
At the federal level, the FBI and DHS have devoted substantial resources to California. At the state level, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) in partnership with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) provide daily strategic analysis and tactical support, while state agency partners such as California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Justice (CalDOJ), and Department of Public Health (CDPH) also contribute personnel or resources to advance the anti-terrorism objectives of the STAS. At the local level, County Sheriff's Offices as well as City Police, Fire and Emergency Management Departments contribute personnel and resources to the STAS.
On September 25, 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, California started its first state homeland security fusion center.
In 2004, the California Governor's Office of Homeland Security developed a plan to establish four regional, locally owned and operated fusion centers supported through state funding. The four regional fusion centers mirror California's four federal districts. The network of the STAS consists of the State Threat Assessment Center, four regional threat assessment centers (RTACs), and an RTAC subordinate major urban area fusion center.