By Paul Kurtz and Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter was joined in South Philadelphia on Friday by state, national, and regional partners for the grand opening of the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center.

DVIC is a massive intelligence- gathering outlet for Philadelphia and the five suburban counties that’s been in the works for years. Mayor Nutter says it is designed to also share information with other “fusion centers,” as they are called, in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

“The DVIC is in fact a one-stop shop for regional informational exchange,” Nutter said Friday. “It is designed to comprehensively address virtually every type of hazardous situation, from potential terrorist threats to severe weather events.”

“In times of crisis, accurate and timely information is critical,” he added.

It’s a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation. Much of the intelligence is gathered at DVIC’s Real Time Crime Center, which features staffers watching TV monitors. Cameras are zeroed in on street life, bridges, and public transportation.

The idea is that if there is a terrorist threat, or even a major weather event, everyone can work together to ensure public safety.

“This DVIC Center is dedicated to saving lives and preventing catastrophe,” explains Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

“The DVIC is going to be the place where those barriers to communication can be removed,” says Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison.

DVIC is also working with private businesses, colleges and universities, and public health organizations.

“We all talk about connecting the dots and the failure to connect the dots during 9/11,” says FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Philadelphia Office, Edward Hanko. “If you look around out there, you won’t see any walls between the different units.”

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