The Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) partners with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S.  Department of Homeland Security, and the State of Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) through the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Program to deter and prevent terrorism and investigate criminal activity related to domestic or international terrorism.  Terrorism is defined by the FBI as, “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)."  The TLO Program was established after the events of September 11, 2001, when the United States was attacked by international Islamist Terrorists. The main purpose of CIAC and the TLO Program is to enhance and facilitate better information sharing, communication, and collaboration between local, state, and federal agencies.

CIAC serves as a state-wide fusion center for information gathering and dissemination related to criminal and terrorism-related incidents. CIAC is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado. CIAC is staffed by representatives from Colorado State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security. Working together, information is collected from TLOs in the field at each law enforcement agency, public sector agency, and some private sector businesses regarding suspicious activity that may be related to potential terrorist and/or criminal activity. Once the information is analyzed, if it is deemed reliable and pertinent, it is then sent back out from CIAC to the respective TLOs throughout Colorado. Additionally, CIAC networks with other state fusion centers in collecting and disseminating important law enforcement sensitive information. 

LCSO has several TLOs throughout the agency who are specifically trained in terrorism awareness, intelligence gathering, as well as suspicious activity reporting.  Some of the duties of the TLOs at LCSO include training agency personnel, citizen awareness training,  filtering potential terrorism related reports, filing reports with CIAC, maintaining constant contact with CIAC, as well as disseminating criminal and terrorism related information to the field units in Patrol, Investigations, and Jail Operations.

8 Signs of Terrorism:

Surveillance - Terrorists often survey a particular target to determine its strengths and weaknesses.  This may include determining how well a target is protected, identifying what type of security measures are in place and gauging emergency response times by local law enforcement and emergency services.  Suspicious surveillance activity may include (but are not limited to) things such as: someone recording or monitoring activities at government buildings, drawing diagrams, making notes, using vision enhancing devices, acquiring floor plans or blueprints of a location and showing interest in the security and access points of facilities.

Elicitation - Terrorists attempt to gain information from people or organizations related to their target.  Inquiries about operations and security of important places like schools, power plants, stadiums or shopping malls are all types of elicitation terrorists seek out.  Some may even gain employment at such locations to monitor day-to-day activities and obtain other detailed information about the target.

Tests of Security - Have you been to a building or on public transportation and noticed a bag unattended?  This could be an example of a terrorist trying to determine how long it takes people to report it or for law enforcement to respond.  Terrorists are also known to break into restricted areas to test the security in place.

Funding - It is expensive to fund a terrorist operation.  Terrorists need to raise, spend and transfer funds in a way that does not draw attention themselves.  Typical crimes for funding can range from drug and people trafficking to burglary or sales of illegal merchandise.  They also have been known to funnel money from charitable organizations and legitimate businesses.  Witnessing a suspicious, unusually large transaction paid for with cash or gift cards, or someone asking for donations to a charity you've never heard of should be reported.

Acquiring Supplies - Terrorists need a variety of supplies, including weapons, transportation and a communications system.  Observing a suspicious vehicle in a strange area or come across someone buying a large number of one-time use cell phones, or notice a garage filled with stockpiles of fertilizer, odd machines or weapons should be reported.

Impersonation - Forging identification or passports and stealing or acquiring official uniforms are all ways terrorists impersonate someone else.  Terrorists have been known to impersonate law enforcement, mail carriers or company employees to gain information about the target or the area around the target.

Rehearsal - Terrorists will often rehearse a pending attack prior to the actual event to ensure things will run smoothly.  This rehearsal can entail putting all players into position and monitoring police radios and measuring emergency response time by law enforcement and firefighters. 

Deployment - During the deployment phase terrorists are arranging assets, getting into position or are in the midst of an attack.  Don't forget if you see something, say something!                             

"IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING"  is part of a nation-wide educational campaign to urge citizens to report suspicious activity, persons, and or vehicles and to be aware of  possible terrorism indicators.   If you have a suspicious incident to report please call the Larimer County Sheriff's Office at 970-416-1985 (non-emergency dispatch line), 911 (for emergencies), or the Colorado Information Analysis Center at 1-877-509-CIAC (2422).

If you have specific questions, would like to speak to a TLO, or request a Community Awareness Program presentation, please contact Lt. Robert Cook at 970-498-5161.