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TARGETING TERRORISM



The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office actively supports the law enforcement community’s efforts to fight terrorism through the actions of the Counterterrorism Division (CT). The CT Division works very closely with other local, state, county, and federal agencies in this effort. This effort involves gathering potential terrorism related information; investigations directed at stopping acts of terrorism; preparedness planning should a terrorist event occur; and the investigation and recovery operations subsequent to a terrorist act.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s office contributes resources to the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center (ACTIC), and participates in the ACTIC’s field operations program, known as the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Program.

Sheriff’s Office resources located at the ACTIC include Detectives dedicated to the gathering counterterrorism related intelligence, as well as initiating subsequent investigations resulting from that intelligence, or from information provided by the public, referred to as “tips and leads,” through the ACTIC website or tip hotline. These detectives also perform pre-event threat analysis related to the many large public events that occur in the state, such as the major sports events, contributing to the safety of those in attendance.

The Sheriff has also located his Facial Recognition Unit (FRU) at the ACTIC. This unit contributes to all criminal and counterterrorism investigations by potentially identifying unknown subjects, or locating known subjects, through a comparison of their photographic images to millions of stored booking, driver's license, and other related data bases.

The Sheriff’s Office also contributes intelligence analysts to the ACTIC, and coordinates a criminal analyst internship program with colleges and universities interested in participating. The professional analysts make significant contributions to many joint agency criminal and counterterrorism investigations, and the college interns, who undergo a background investigation prior to participation, gain insight into the criminal analytical career field, while providing support activities to the full time analysts at the center.

The Sheriff’s Office has dedicated nine detectives to the TLO Program that is coordinated by the ACTIC. These TLOs have graduated from a specialized 40 hour counterterrorism class, which has been recognized nationwide. The TLOs must also attend monthly meetings for current domestic and international counterterrorism training, as well as a review of current terrorism trends and activities. These Officers also receive specialized equipment for research and communication in the field, as they are the mobile field contingent of the ACTIC’s counterterrorism effort. In addition to responding to all critical events that occur in the state, they are trained to conduct threat and vulnerability assessments of both the public and private sector critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure includes systems such as our electrical grids; water systems; bridges; dams; etc. The TLOs also contribute to field intelligence teams that are present at all large public events, helping to ensure the safety of those attending.

The CT Division also coordinates the entire Office’s participation in all large public events, ensuring that other divisions within the office are prepared, have adequate field communications and communications backup systems in place, and have response equipment at the ready should it be needed. Finally, although a natural disaster, such as a flood or forest fire are not terrorism related, the division’s expertise and specialized equipment are utilized in a joint response and recovery operation. Much of the equipment and training necessary to utilize the equipment was obtained from successful grant applications written by the CT Division to the Arizona Department of Homeland Security, and funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, saving the county millions of dollars.



HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you see something unusual, or hear about information that could be related to terrorism, call the Counterterrorism Hotline at
1-877-272-8329 (toll free).

You can also report suspicious activity or information to this website, or the ACTIC website at www.azactic.gov.


Please view the link to 8 Signs of Terrorism, and remember; the information you provide could possibly prevent a tragedy, law enforcement cannot do it alone, we need your help.