Ep 36: Intelligence

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Episode 36: Intelligence

A discussion about the Intelligence function in Active Shooter Incident Management (hint: it's not just a law enforcement issue).

Bill Godfrey:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Incident Management Podcast. My name's Bill Godfrey, your podcast host. Thanks for being with us today. We are going to be talking about intelligence related to active shooter events and active shooter incident management. I have with me today three of the C3 Pathways instructors. We've got Stephen Shaw from law enforcement. Steve, thanks for being here.

Stephen Shaw:

Thank you for having me, Bill. Good afternoon.

Bill Godfrey:

Absolutely. And we have Adam Pendley, also from law enforcement. Adam, good to have you back.

Adam Pendley:

Thank you, Bill. Glad to be here.

Bill Godfrey:

And our newest C3 instructor joining us. Been around ... I won't say how long, Leanna. That wouldn't be kind. Leanna Mims, a retired fire chief, like myself. Also a paramedic. A lot of years in the business and just recently retired from some service at the state and has joined our team as our most recent instructor. Leanna, thanks for being here with us today.

Leeanna Mims:

Glad to be here. Thank you.

Bill Godfrey:

Absolutely. Okay, so as we get to talking about this topic, let me set the stage. So if you're familiar with any of our literature in the active shooter incident management program, you know that part of the ICS structure that we stand up is the intelligence section. Now, technically, it's called the intelligence investigative section, or the intelligence investigation section depending on how you want to label that. And in real life, in one of these events, that section gets quite large. It gets heavily staffed with a lot of people. And if you also have an event that has to do reunification, reunification is a branch under the intelligence section. So there's a whole lot of stuff that goes on.

But we're going to focus today really is just a conversation around intelligence in a general sense. So if there's some intel purists out there, please forgive us. We're going to use this in a general sense and kind of talk about some of the things that relate to it. And the first one I'd kind of like to start off with, gang, if it's all right with you is dispelling the notion that intelligence is really just a law enforcement function, but really there's more to it. Adam, you want to start us off?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. I think it's interesting. We talk around the country about the active shooter event. We obviously never want to give any honor to the person that is committing this terrible act. And we even say that when the officers are first addressing the active threat, we don't care what the motivation is. We don't care that the person has issues. We just have to stop that active threat.

But the truth of the matter is, very shortly after getting the active threat engaged, there are investigators and those that have to ... Command has to worry about what is the nature of this attack. Is our entire community under attack? Is this a one-off domestic violence type incident? And just like saving lives is everyone's job, figuring out what happened at the scene is also everyone's job. So those first responding officers are going to be getting immediate feedback from witnesses that, "Hey, that was Joe. He just got fired yesterday and you've got the right guy." Medics are going to be transporting survivors of the incident, and the survivors are going to be telling their story about what they saw and heard. Others that are helping on perimeter, even the PIO and others that are involved in the event are going to be getting a lot of information very quickly that becomes the job of intelligence to piece all that information together to try to figure out what is the nature of this attack and how can we either prevent an attack that might be happening, or at least begin our investigation immediately. And it feeds into all of those things.

Bill Godfrey:

Leanna, Adam mentioned a couple things on the fire/EMS side in terms of patient care. What are some of the things that jump out at you that really the fire/EMS service needs to be concerned about and watching for on these things?

Leeanna Mims:

Right. And I agree. For a long time, we believed that intelligence was strictly a law enforcement function. And that's just so far from the truth. The intelligence that you can bring in changes everything that you do strategically, tactically, and when you're talking about looking at a global picture of that, everybody is going to be trained on what intelligence is. And if you have some sort of a program that does do that, such as an ILO, an intelligence liaison officer program, and all of your people are trained in that, then they know what they're looking for and when to bring it back. No matter what type of situation that you're working in.

And the other piece of that that we sometimes take for granted is we don't always pay attention to what the media is reporting. We pay attention to what we're telling the media, what kind of statements we want to go out, but a lot of times, the media can work so much faster than any intelligence resources can that we might have on scene. They have just as many contacts as we do, and from local to local, state to state, even internationally. So they can start getting answers and digging quickly, and if you don't have somebody monitoring that media, there could be things out there that are being told that you haven't picked up on.

So with that, I'll leave it to somebody else to talk about the key spots to be able to monitor that probably within the dispatch center if you're talking about an active shooter event, which that's primarily what we do here. But if somebody is in the communications center and working as an intelligence officer, intelligence liaison, there might be some things there that they pick up from the media that they could relay back that helps with the response and helps law enforcement. And I'll defer that as to what that help could be.

Stephen Shaw:

And, Bill, talking about intelligence not being a law enforcement specific job, one of the questions that comes up a lot, not just for active shooters but for just calls in general that law enforcement responds to, what information is important? And the answer is, at some point, all of it is important. So if you have people that are responding to an active shooter specifically, there's going to be a lot of information that's coming in at a very fast rate. Your firefighters, your medics, even some of your emergency managers may be gathering some information that they need to be empowered to pass up to someone who is putting all that information together. Because whether it's for intelligence for the scene that we're working currently, as far as are we going to have another incident, are we going to have a second suspect or whatever, at some point during the investigative process, all that information is going to become important. What did you see? What did you hear? What were the statements made? Any of that information is going to be used later.

So our response partners who are maybe not law enforcement need to understand that all that information is important to us, and they don't need to be afraid or shy about sharing that information with the command post or with the investigators there.

Adam Pendley:

Right. And so I think those are both great points, and I think what its key during the initial response that we're talking about is that there has to be mechanisms in place at the scene. So that intelligence section ultimately, like Bill said when he opened us up here, is that it's going to be a large function. You're going to have lots of different people all working together to try to gather that intelligence information. So when you train to this, you have to have a mechanism in place for all of these sources of information that you've talked about to bring those pieces together and paint that larger picture. So I think that's really important.

Bill Godfrey:

I think this is a fascinating line of thought, and I want to chase it down a little bit. So one of the things that we so often say, I think, in every class is at these events, at a minimum you have three crime scenes that you're going to have to look at and investigate. Adam, Steve, one of you, let's talk a little bit about that and then dive into that a little bit.

Adam Pendley:

So I think the three scenes, you have the crisis site itself, right? And there's a lot of focus on that, especially early on. But the moment you're able to take the first breath from that, you have to realize that the suspect arrived at that location in some form of transportation. So that becomes a focus, especially if there's a vehicle there at the scene. There's a lot of information that can be gleaned from the suspect's vehicle.

And then the suspect lives somewhere, so where the suspect came from. Oftentimes, we've seen in many of these incidents where the suspect has already committed some sort of terrible act against a family member or something back at home, and we've also discovered that when you finally do make it to the suspect's residence, that they have bomb-making materials and other things along those lines. And, again, it branches off into multiple areas of intelligence from there.

Stephen Shaw:

And one of the things that a good intelligence section will really help out with those three incidents is figuring out who this person is, what their background is, or have we already dealt with this person at some point. Has another agency dealt with them that we've not even heard about? Because the chances of all three of those scenes being in the same jurisdiction are fairly slim. A lot of times, they come from neighboring towns, neighboring counties, or maybe they'll come from the same county, but they're in a city and they live in an unincorporated area. So now we're having to deal with the Sheriff's Department, whereas a police department is responding to the actual scene.

So has someone else dealt with this person, and what did they see? Did this person make some statements that they have bomb-making materials? Do we have purchases somewhere? And then when we're already dealing with something as resource intensive as an active shooter event, that intel can really help an incident commander determine where do we need to focus the most resources. Because if we have someone, and we had this situation locally where we had someone who was suspected of making IEDs. That eats up a lot of manpower, especially if you and your jurisdiction do not have enough people to lock down, like Adam was saying, a crisis site, a vehicle, a person's home, and now we have to evacuate it. So what are we dealing with? And that's where this intelligence section can really tie all that information together to equip incident commanders with the best information possible so that they can put resources where they need to go.

Bill Godfrey:

The one that pops into my mind really is, I think, the Aurora incident in terms of the residence because it was so incredibly complex with bombs and bomb-making materials and booby traps, and ultimately involved a very significant coordinated effort by a lot of people, including fire/EMS. And I can even recall the imagery of them using the ladder truck to try to access the building in some unusual ways, and some of those. It's really fascinating how deep this can go and how quickly. But you don't really have to go it alone, right? That's fair to say?

Adam Pendley:

No, absolutely. Like most of the positions that we talk about in active shooter incident management, you're building a team. These are leadership positions, and you're building a team. And so there's a wealth of resources that are going to either be summoned to the scene or are going to realize events as its going on that have investigative responsibilities at the local, state and federal level. And we need to prepare for what information do we need their help.

I always say that if you're in the command post, and somebody walks up to you and says "How can I help," and you don't have an answer for them, then that probably means your scene is getting smaller. We should always be able to delegate some big piece of this intelligence function to those teams that are not only in the agency that has jurisdiction, but all those assisting agencies that are coming. You should be able to find something to help them process this immense amount of information that's going to be coming towards you.

Stephen Shaw:

And a lot of that team building should be done before the incident ever even starts. How do we share information with each other, even when it comes to stuff as simple as break-ins in the area? How do we share information with our neighboring agencies? And we say it all the time, not just with intelligence but with everything, the first time that you meet somebody face-to-face should probably not be in the command post. And we talk about that in the class. So having those relationships built ahead of time, knowing who can I call to get information, who can I call to tap into a resource that I don't have available to me right now is really important and needs to be built before the incident ever even starts.

Bill Godfrey:

So I want to pull on that thread a little bit in terms of sharing information, because, Leanna, I think one of the classic complaints certainly on the fire/EMS side, though I've heard it even inter-agency on the law enforcement side, but on the fire/EMS side is there's known information that isn't shared, that isn't put out there. Can you talk a little bit about the intelligence liaison officer program that you worked on? What was some of the reasons that you wanted to do it, and did it help close the gap? Did it help solve the problem in that sharing of information from your perspective?

Leeanna Mims:

So really where our ILO training came from was from our fusion center. It was driven by our fusion center. And once you could get everybody understanding that intelligence is not just a law enforcement aspect, they start looking a little harder, and paying a little bit closer attention. Just like we did in the initial post-9/11 world.

And with that, just going back to what I was saying earlier about using the media as your friend when it comes to intel. We were working a scene, and just to clarify, it wasn't a shooting, but it was a mass casualty. It was multiple homes involved. And it was the media that was able to help clue us in as to who was home, who wasn't home, and how many people were actually involved that could probably be either in need of help or deceased. But that was through their tracking and their sourcing. And, honestly, they could do it faster than any of us could working a joint command on scene, even with all of law enforcement and everybody there and the resources that we have. They're getting to a story.

There was one recently locally. There was a shooting, and I just found it ironic that the media was on the scene with the shooter's ex-wife, I believe it was. It was either ex-wife or ex-girlfriend interviewing the same day that it happened. And I just thought that that was pretty ironic. What information could she provide, and does law enforcement have that yet? I wouldn't know that. I would hope so, but in that circumstance, and watching things the way we do, I wouldn't necessarily count on it.

Adam Pendley:

So, Bill, I think Leanna makes a great point about recognizing what suspicious information looks like. Law enforcement-wise, we've spent years training officers to recognize suspicious activity reporting, right? And so I think the great point there is that same type of training should be shared with others that are going to be responding to the scene. Again, piecing this intelligence together becomes everyone's job if they know what to look for. So if they know what to look for when someone is making a statement at the scene, they know what to look for prior to an event ever happening. That they go to the elderly woman's house, and while she's being treated for high blood pressure, she's talking about how her son stresses her out because he's always in the basement. He's always looking at violent material online. He's always talking about getting guns. He's always talking about how he's going to go back and he's got a revenge fantasy against a previous school or a previous employer.

If everyone who is involved in these types of scenes in the public safety response can recognize what to look for in advance, but also recognize what's important after they've responded to the scene, I think those conversations ... To Stephen's point, those conversations have to happen before a crisis occurs.

Bill Godfrey:

I completely agree with you, and I think it makes perfect sense. Before we go any further, I do want to just also clarify while we're talking about the intelligence liaison officer, understand that that terminology can shift depending on where you are in the country. I've heard it called the terrorism liaison officer, the threat liaison officer, TLOs. There's probably three or four other acronyms that right now I can't even think of them. So just from a generic position, I think it's interesting, Leanna, that your experience has been using those to try to help educate everybody what to look for, because the context of most of mine have been these positions in and around the fusion center to have access to the information and kind of decide what does need to be shared between disciplines and between agencies.

So I would like to visit on that for a little bit. Do you think that's still a problem? Are we still having a problem sharing information from one law enforcement agency to another, whether that's federal, state or local? Are we having a problem sharing the information to the fire and EMS agency? And is that problem a purposeful one, meaning we discussed sharing this with the fire department and we decided it was too sensitive and we weren't going to? Or nobody even thought to bring that up in the topic? So let's go around the table here. What do you think, is that still a problem today? Steve, let's start with you.

Stephen Shaw:

It's tough to say if it's a problem because every area is different, and I think if you have those systems built ahead of time, I'd say probably not. But if it's not something that you're sharing information regularly, then, yeah, it probably is.

And I think especially, and we fall into this trap as law enforcement too, we don't a lot of times share it with fire and EMS. Does fire and EMS need to know that we have a ring of people that's stealing catalytic converters? Who's to say that they don't need to know that? Because they see stuff just like we do. They're out driving around, and they might notice some information there. How does that tie into active shooters? Again, it's about relationships. I already have that relationship established where I'm in the habit of sharing information with everybody that could possibly be involved with my crisis scene ahead of time. We know each other ahead of time, and, again, we've just gotten in that habit of sharing information.

A lot of times, people, civilians, are more apt to let fire and EMS into their homes and give them information that they wouldn't normally do with a police officer. So to Adam's point, like he's saying, somebody's talking about, "My grandson disturbs me because he's down in the basement," and all that kind of stuff. A lot of times, that information may not be shared with a cop where it would be shared with a firefighter.

So it's tough to say if it's an issue. I think it's really regionally dependent. I think we could probably do a better job in my area, I know, sharing that information with non-law enforcement entities. But I think it depends on what systems you have built ahead of time.

Bill Godfrey:

Adam?

Adam Pendley:

Yeah. So what I would add to that is I know that we need to train to it, and so a lot of times in law enforcement active shooter response training, we spend a lot of time dealing with tactics, entering rooms, addressing suspects, so on and so forth, but that's where the conversation ends. And I think it's important to also continue with the exercise and training in what if this person we're dealing with has information? Pocket trash. Information about another attack. You have a witness who, during the tactical training, gives information to the officers or to a firefighter or to a paramedic about what they saw, what they did. So we can train to this idea that you're going to get pieces of information from all over the place, and I don't think we do that.

So I think we fail in training across the country as far as making that part of the training, and so I think that's why it's so important that on the checklist we have intelligence and investigations as part of that initial response. So we train to it when we're talking about the initial response to active shooter.

Bill Godfrey:

Leanna, what's your take?

Leeanna Mims:

Right. But if you put the right exchange system in place, and, again, that can be linked through a fusion center, then you, for lack of a better way of looking at it, you have to trust how you set that exchange to work as to what gets released by how you want to prioritize it to fire, to law enforcement. There's some things that we, as fire, we don't need to know. But if it is something that is going to present a danger to us in a response situation, then, yes, and you want to trust that whatever training and relationships and exchange program that you have in place is going to do that.

And that's when we're talking about just day in, day out exchange of intelligence. When you're working an active scene, it's a different scenario. As that intel is coming in and coming in quick, it's got to be considered by tactical and by command what is going to get relayed to who. And that really is under the control of law enforcement, and trust that they're going to relay what is going to be necessary to keep you safe, but they also know that they can't relay anything that is going to jeopardize the outcome to be any worse than what the situation might already be.

Adam Pendley:

So, Bill, listening to both Leanna and Stephen, it actually also reminds me of the fact that our fusion centers, they work very hard to make sure that they're putting out the information that we need. And I know people that work in fusion centers, and the bulletins themselves offer an opportunity for feedback. So if the product needs a different type of information because I think the other thing, we can drown in our own information. There is so much out there.

Bill Godfrey:

Or there can be, I guess I should say.

Adam Pendley:

So, again, part of those pre-conversations is ... And do that feedback. Everyone that I've ever known that has worked in a fusion center, they want to produce a product that makes a difference. And so it's incumbent upon us that are receiving that information to provide feedback, to say, "Hey, this part was useful. This part wasn't so much useful." And build that in advance, and say, "If we start sending you pieces of information at an active scene, this is the right now, right now information that we need. We need to know who this person is and where they lived, where do they come from, what other vehicles do they have, and what are their immediate associations. Those are the kinds of things that we need to know right now." And I think massaging that information into something that's useful in a rapid, tactical way is going to be important as well.

Bill Godfrey:

It's interesting, we've talked several times about fusion centers, and I'm sure that there's a lot of our audience that knows what a fusion center is and knows where their fusion center is. But I don't know that that's the case all across the country. Let's take a minute to talk about, first of all, how do you find out who your local fusion center is if you don't know it? What are some of the resources that we can go to? And then what should they be sharing with the fusion center early on, and what kind of things should they be looking for back from the fusion center?

Adam Pendley:

So I think obviously in most agencies or in least your partnering agencies, you're going to have someone that has received that training as an intelligence liaison officer or works as an analyst or has those networks in their personal connections that they can reach out to the person. So it just begins with networking. So someone in your organization has reached out, they have someone in their professional network that works in the fusion center network or works in an exchange of some sort, or your federal agencies may have a representative at the joint terrorism task force, or one of those other organizations that begins that networking. And then just reach out, because, again, that's the way networking works. That's the way these fusion center exchanges work is they need more members, they need people that can both provide information and, again, benefit from the products.

Stephen Shaw:

I think, to Adam's point, even if you don't know personally somebody who works in a fusion center, we all have connections. We all have contacts. And, like he said earlier, most people that work in a fusion center, they want that information out there. They want a good product, and it's always been my experience and, Adam or Leanna, tell me if you disagree, anytime I've asked, they've been more than willing to give me whatever they've got.

So if you don't know who that person is at your agency, or say you're just an agency that doesn't have somebody, reach out to somebody from another agency that you know. Say "Who is the person at your agency that deals with the fusion center?" And you may not even call it a fusion center. It may be called something else in your area. But reach out to that person and say, "Who is that person that you know?" And then get in touch with them yourself, and they've always been more than willing to share information, because that's their mission is information sharing. That's what a fusion center is, it's information sharing. It's collating and pushing out intelligence.

As far as what we're looking for, that varies. I could be looking for crime trends. I could be looking for ... One of the things that my state and a lot of other states have gotten into recently is behavioral analysis. Can I get any information from that? How do I pass that information along to them so that it can be put out somewhere else? So reach out to those contacts. We all have them and we all have professional connections. Reach out to those and see what they have available for you.

Bill Godfrey:

I think the other really good value that a fusion center can bring to especially small or rural communities or smaller law enforcement agencies that may not have experienced these larger events, or may not have a lot of depth in their intelligence bench, if you will, your fusion center that covers your area, and there's, I think to my knowledge, we have a fusion center that is designated to cover every part of the US. There's a network of them. But if you don't know how to do something, chances are pretty good that the fusion center either will, but I can almost guarantee you, at the very least, they're going to know somebody to call that's going to know how to do that. If you need some high end analysis, or some in-depth, super wacky gadget-y stuff, whatever, the fusion center may be a source of access to connections and information and people that may be able to fill that out.

And I mentioned this earlier, how do you find your local fusion center if you don't know it? A good place to start is at the DHS website. You can obviously google it, but DHS.gov/fusion-centers is a good starting place. You can also just google "Fusion center near me," and there's a pretty good chance that it's going to pull up the one closest to you, but not necessarily obviously ... Google knows a lot. I don't know that it knows everything, but, in any event, there's ways to find out.

And most fusion centers, and Leanna, I think this was your experience when you guys were setting up your ILO, most fusion centers have both emergency lines and business lines. So Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, you can call them up and tell them what you're concerned about or what you're working on. Leanna, was that your experience as well as you were setting your program up?

Leeanna Mims:

Yes. Yes. The fusion centers, they can be a training resource for you. And, again too, another piece of that for some agencies that aren't sure where to reach out to, many times your local emergency management office can steer you to them, because many times your fusion center is pretty tied in at that level.

Bill Godfrey:

Okay. So the other thing before we leave fusion centers that I kind of want to plant this idea is everybody needs to practice. Everybody needs to practice. When you're doing your training scenarios, your hands-on scenarios where you're actually running this stuff, whether it's focused on the incident management piece or just gathering information, or when you're doing this, if you're going to try to use your fusion centers, call them up ahead of time and see if they'll participate with you as part of your exercise, as part of your scenario. My personal experience has been very positive in getting most fusion centers to agree to participate. They've usually been pretty enthusiastic about doing that. You do, as an exercise controller, have to be very careful to make sure that you don't inadvertently create what appears to be a real world thing out of something that you're exercising, but there's plenty of ways to control that. Any other notes on fusion centers before we move onto a couple of other items?

Adam Pendley:

No, I think we hit it pretty well. Again, I would just add that during the training scenarios, you can write up just index cards with pieces of information. If you're going to have moulage patients that you have spread about your scene, put a card with each of those, and see how well that information is fused together through your intelligence process.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, absolutely. You can put together a package for the fusion center that gives them a lot of background if your trainees actually just think to call. So I think that that's all good stuff.

So the one other thing I want to do before we leave this is I want to talk a little bit about if you're the intelligence section chief at the active shooter event, you're assigned to that role, that process of getting started and beginning to collect the information. Now, you all know as instructors and those that have been through our courses are familiar with our intelligence worksheet, if you will, that lays out a way to begin collecting data. I know there's some sensitivity for intel what they classify as information versus what's vetted and what's not, and I don't meant to trip up over that. But, basically, as you're collecting data pieces, little pieces of information, to be able to collect them and organize and begin doing some of those associations.

Adam, can you talk a little bit, and Steve, I'd like you to weigh in on, too, what does that look like and who is going to get the job most of the time? Is it going to be an investigator typically that's going to be the first one staffing it?

Adam Pendley:

Sure. I think early on, it can be that next available resource. But, quickly, you're going to want a trained investigator in that role. But like we've demonstrated during our conversation today, you're going to be overloaded almost immediately. Especially to Leanna's point about the media is already putting information out there because somebody has tweeted from the scene while it's happening, or maybe even live streamed it. So the intelligence function is already a little bit behind. So you know you're going to have that immediate overload. The investigator is going to have to build a team. That team is going to have to work to start piecing those pieces of information together, and we know there's certain catch points where information is gathered.

Our dispatchers across the country do a fantastic job of logging information into their CAD system as it's coming in from multiple callers, so we know that's a great source of intelligence information. We know that the tactical group supervisor working with triage and transport, they're going to be getting information that comes up from the teams that are down range. That's a great source of information as well. And then the reason on the ASIM checklist that we put reunification under the intelligence and investigative section is because, as we get uninjured people, witnesses out of the scene, we know that they're going to be interviewed and they're going to be provided a great deal of intelligence information as well.

So the short answer is it's going to go to a trained investigator who is going to have to build a team who is going to have to rapidly collect pieces of information that are coming from multiple sources.

Stephen Shaw:

Yeah, I agree. Having that investigator there, I think as someone who is used to working with intelligence, someone who is used to working with a fusion center or who is an ILO or TLO or anything like that.

One thing, I don't know if we've talked about it right now but I know we talk about it in class is we're getting information, are you sending someone to your dispatch center? Are you sending that investigator to your dispatch center? Because a lot of times, that's where you're getting your first best information from people is people are calling 9-1-1. And also if you have someone, and I'm not just talking about an investigator or whoever it is that happens to be gathering your intelligence at the time, calling dispatch on the phone. Actually be there in the building with them if possible because now you're getting information from everywhere that it could possibly come from. You're getting 9-1-1 calls. You're getting radio transmissions. You're getting radio transmissions from possibly multiple agencies, and they have all that CAD information that they can pull up. We've got a suspect vehicle, they can run that. Has this car been stopped somewhere else before? They can run that history there, right?

So if we don't have enough resources to dedicate five investigators to different areas, maybe just send that one trained investigator to your dispatch center. And like Adam is saying, have that person build a team. So send that trained investigator to a dispatch center and have him or her work with their team who has officers or other people in other areas gathering that information and sending it up to them.

Bill Godfrey:

I think that's great. I think that's great. And, Steve, I'm really glad you mentioned the piece about getting somebody over to the dispatch center. We touched on dispatch and the importance of that, and I think we forgot to mention that when we did our first pass. It's a key element. In fact, it's one of the things that we teach in the class for whoever gets the intelligence section. The first thing they need to do is get a rundown of what dispatch knows, because they're in a position to hear and record a whole lot of information.

Stephen Shaw:

And I mentioned it as I was talking about, and I skipped over it, but we talked about training other people to know what to look for for intelligence. That also includes your dispatchers. What do we need to be listening out for? So when they're getting these 9-1-1 calls, and they're getting those radio transmissions, are they hearing information that they know is going to be key that they can document somewhere? So getting them involved also in your training as to what to look for is crucial.

Leeanna Mims:

And just in followup to what Adam was saying about how fast everything is happening from the scene, the tweeting, the social media, the news media, it gets ahead of you. And it can overrun your resources. A lot of times in some areas, something we did with the media is if they wanted to be up front on the scene, we did a media school that was taught by our PIOs. With that, there's a component where you talk to them about intelligence, and help them to understand it. And I think that if we all maybe learn as we have resources to use that broad brush, we can turn the media around to be another resource for us in that intel.

And, obviously, we've got to make sure that they understand what the difference is between reporting and feeding intelligence. And we all have those media agencies that we work with that really do a good job in wanting to help with the community.

Bill Godfrey:

The local media.

Leeanna Mims:

Yes. Yes. Yes, exactly.

Bill Godfrey:

I think you're right on the money there. Most professional PIOs that I know of go out of their way to build relationships with their local media, and it's an absolutely essential ingredient. And I think most local reporters equally go out of their way to build relationships because it's very much a two-way street. And so I think that's a great resource.

The national media, out of market, not so much. They don't really necessary care about your local issue or your local concerns. And I won't address what I think they do care about, but the local media, I think, is a very different case. And in the early part of the incident, that's who you're going to be dealing with. For that first 30 minutes, an hour ... I don't know that you get much more than an hour before you start to get some of the others to land on you. All right.

Leeanna Mims:

And I think for a long time, from the fire side, when we heard the word "intelligence," we thought secrets. Those two words went hand-in-hand, and really now when we heard the word "intelligence," what we should be thinking about is safety and success.

Adam Pendley:

Very good.

Bill Godfrey:

Yeah, that's a really, really great point. In fact, I'm going to stop right there and leave it the last word. Because we aren't going to top that. Leanna, thank you very much.

Leeanna Mims:

Thank you.

Bill Godfrey:

Thanks for being here today. I hope you enjoyed your first podcast with us. Look forward to having you back for more. Adam, Stephen, thanks for being here today. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening in. We hope you enjoyed it. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, please click your subscribe button on whatever device where you consume us. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments about the podcast, please send them to info@c3pathways.com. That's info@c3pathways.com. Until next time, stay safe.

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