To earn the trust of the public, the CIAC, working with its state and federal partners, developed a marketing strategy to publicize itself and to clarify what it looked for in terms of “suspicious activity.” It was important to do this outreach before Denver held the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2008.
The campaign was called “Recognizing the 8 Signs of Terrorism.” One part of that campaign was an 8-minute video narrated by former Denver Broncos quarterback and two-time Super Bowl winner John Elway. “Anytime you attach John Elway to anything in Colorado, it grabs people’s attention,” says Garcia.
The video and other educational materials were sent to first-responder partners and shown to local communities, becoming another fusion center best practice hailing from the CIAC. “If you go around the other states, you’ll see very similar posters,” says Garcia, noting DHS has borrowed elements of the CIAC’s marketing strategy for its own outreach efforts.
Transparency is also a big concern for the CIAC. CDPS Spokesman Lance Clem says he makes every effort to comply with journalist requests to see and report on the CIAC. “We’ll open [the fusion center] to anyone,” he says.
To maintain compliance, the center also has a privacy officer who ensures that any information collected about individuals is purged if it does not meet federal regulatory requirements for retention, noted Supervisor Sgt. Lloyd Smith. Those rules, codified in CFR 28 Part 23, state that such data should not be kept unless “information exists which establishes sufficient facts to give a trained law enforcement or criminal investigative agency officer, investigator, or employee a basis to believe that there is a reasonable possibility that an individual or organization is involved in a definable criminal activity or enterprise.”