What is the Community Awareness Program?
The Community Awareness Program (CAP) is an interactive program designed to provide citizens with the basic tools needed to recognize and help prevent terrorism and criminal activity within our communities. Taught by public safety professionals, CAP participants are trained to spot certain behaviors and situations. The CAP takes special care to ensure the civil liberties protected by our Constitution are preserved
- Designed in accordance with and in support of the Department of Homeland Security “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and the national Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) process and training
- Vetted and approved by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Civil Liberties and Securities and the FEMA Office of National Protection and Preparedness
- Featured nationally as a Fusion Center best practice by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice through the Lessons Learns Information Sharing program
- Recognized by FEMA in its Individual and Community Preparedness Awards for Innovative Training and Education Programs
Why should I take the CAP?
Sadly, terrorism continues to affect all of us every day. It impacts the way we live, work, and travel, here at home, and it certainly impacts societies abroad. There are simple steps that can be taken by each of us to dramatically improve our ability to help prevent terrorism and criminal activity, allowing us to better protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
Can citizens really play a critical role in preventing terrorism?
Yes! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recognized the importance of citizen engagement – as Secretary Janet Napolitano once said, “Homeland security begins with hometown security”. Enhancing our disaster preparedness and public safety is a shared responsibility, and the CAP plays a crucial role in providing citizens with the information they need to play their part.
How old do I have to be to take the CAP course?
The recommended age for taking CAP classes is 14 and older.
How long is the CAP class?
The community course is just over two hours.
Is there a shorter version of the class?
As is, the CAP covers information you need to understand current threats and how to properly recognize and report suspicious behavior. Accordingly, we encourage participants to take the entire CAP course as designed. However, if necessary it can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Because it is important to ensure the CAP material is covered appropriately please contact CAP@thecell.org in order to customize your class.
Does the CAP train people to call the CIAC instead of 911?
No. If you there is an imminent threat or emergency, you should always call 911. And if you are in doubt err on the side of caution and dial 911. The Colorado Information Analysis Center, or CIAC, is what you should call in the case of a non-imminent threat.
Does the CAP promote profiling?
No. The CAP program uses a behavior-focused approach that teaches participants what constitutes suspicious activity. Moreover, the CAP takes special care to teach individuals to preserve civil liberties and be more vigilant about what happens in their communities.
Will the CAP encourage me to spy on my neighbors?
No. The CAP teaches individuals to always be aware of their surroundings. You know your community better than anyone else, and are therefore better equipped to recognize and report anything that is out of the ordinary.
Why do I have to provide my contact information in order to sign up for the CAP class?
Your contact information helps us measure the number of people who are engaged in the CAP, and allows us to keep you informed about alerts and upcoming events. If you do not wish to receive notifications from the CAP, you can opt out of receiving updates.
What happens after I take the CAP course?
You can get involved! Sign up to be a volunteer and participate in events hosted by the CELL and the CAP. As a CAP alumnus, you will also receive a certificate of course completion and regular updates on how you can continue to help keep your community safe.
How do I get my certificate?
Certificates will be e-mailed to you shortly after you complete the CAP class, so long as you provide your e-mail address.
How can I bring the CAP to my community?
It’s easy! The best way to bring the CAP to your community is to find out which organizations or businesses might be interested in taking the course. Once you have an interested group and have set a date, contact CAP@thecell.org to procure materials and a trainer for the class.