'It could happen here,' Utah cops training to spot terrorist threats
(KUTV) Utah law enforcement officials began training Thursday morning with national security experts to spot potential terrorist threats.
The training is sponsored by the Utah Department of Public Safety and aims to help cops teach communities how to recognize a terrorist threat.
Utah DPS Major Brian Redd says the new program comes at a critical time at terrorist groups are growing, even in the U.S.
"With the social media campaigns from some of these terrorist organizations, that material is out there for [people] to look at, and these are vulnerable individuals that get looking at that," Redd said. "I think the difference might be just the threat of terrorism is evolving, it's high right now with all that is going on in the middle east," Redd said.
The Counterterrosism Education Learning Lab in Denver developed the Community Awareness Program (CAP) that works with state terrorism Fusion Centers to recognize, analyze, and respond to terrorist threats.
CELL officials gave the first portion of the training on terrorism to officers from dozens of local law enforcement agencies.
"Our preparation for dealing with terrorist is probably nowhere near where it needs to be and that's what we're hoping to gain from this training today," Park City Police Captain Phil Kirk said.
Kirk plans to train city bus drivers to be aware of when to report suspicious activity ahead of this month's Sundance Film Festival.