Denver group teaches community how to prevent terrorism

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DENVER -- Wednesday’s terror attack in London involved a tactic that’s becoming more common and seemingly difficult to stop: Driving a vehicle into a crowd.

Five people were killed and 20 others injured. It leaves many wondering, could it happen in Denver?

Large crowds of innocent people going about their day have become quick, easy and cheap targets for terrorists.

In July, 84 people were killed when a terrorist in Nice, France, drove a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day.

In December, a man rammed a vehicle into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12.

And Wednesday on London’s Westminster bridge, a car was used to plow down pedestrians, leaving at least five dead.

Crime and terrorism can happen anywhere around the world

“There is a responsibility that we all have as well, in keeping our community safe,” said Jordan Clark, assistant director of the Cell Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab in Denver, which is dedicated to preventing terrorism through education, empowerment and engagement.

That responsibility is becoming more important with the changing tactics of terrorists.

“There is a continual evolution of the methods that these criminals and terrorists really employ to cause harm to the public and to the community,” Clark said.

In areas like Union Station, the 16th Street Mall and outside Coors Field, large crowds often gather without barriers to stop an attack using a car or truck.

“Really building upon, if you see something, say something,” Clark said about what the public is taught through its exhibit and community training program.

In partnership with Homeland Security and the Department of Public Safety, the cell teaches community members how to be another set of eyes watching over the streets.

“These are some simple steps we can all take together on really understanding how it is we can recognize suspicious behaviors and alerting local authorities,” Clark said.

The Denver Police Department, Department of Public Safety and local Department of Homeland Security said they are constantly monitoring threats but declined to speak about barriers and methods being used to prevent terrorist acts.

The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab is hosting training in Denver at 99 W. 12th Ave. at 6 p.m. on April 12.

The cost is $5 and includes a certificate of training from the Department of Homeland Security. ​