Get inside look at DPS terrorism task force in action

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 11:22:47-04

ABC15 took a rare look inside the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center on Tuesday.

"There are 20 different agencies that come to work here,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said.

All the agencies come together to share intelligence, hoping to stay one step ahead of the threats. So far, they have been successful.

In December of 2015, Milstead said a man called a crisis hotline, threatening to carry out a mass shooting at the Burton Barr Library in downtown Phoenix.

All they had at the time was a phone number which led them to the man’s social media accounts. Within minutes, officers were in route to the library with his picture and were able to make an arrest before anything could happen. That man said he has since been diagnosed with serious mental illness and is on the right medication.

Analysts also played a large role in the Garland, Texas, attacks. They linked the suspects to Phoenix, which is proof that every tip matters.

"We are heading to, what we refer to as, a Real-time Crime Center. Information will be fed out as officers respond,” Milstead said.

Milstead said it doesn’t matter how insignificant you think your information is -- every tip is important.

"Change your level of awareness. Pay attention to suspicious activity,” Milstead said.

You can report suspicious activity by downloading the DPS mobile app.

ACTIC also has a video that shows people how to handle active shooter situations.