BOULDER, Colo. — On Thursday, President Joe Biden laid out several proposals he believes can help curb gun violence in the country, but most would require action by Congress. Meanwhile, some communities, like Boulder, are turning to action items that can take effect now.
The Boulder Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will assign one Boulder police officer to the FBI’s Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force, which the city council voted to allow in February.
Following its release, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold and FBI Denver's Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider spoke exclusively to Denver7 about the agreement.
Herold says following the Boulder King Sooper's mass shooting, she became increasingly aware that the city needed additional resources to thwart terrorism and targeted violence.
"I was on the scene, and to see the horrific nature of that scene — and I've seen gruesome scenes before — but the magnitude of that scene was [something] I knew we could not handle at Boulder Police," Herold said. "We're a midsize city."
Herold says immediately following the shooting, Schneider offered resources.
"He offered all of the services of the federal government, and within short order, I was receiving phone calls from the president, the Attorney General of the United States," Herold said. "That is just something that I will never forget, and the FBI has resources that I don't have."
Schneider says there's always partnerships in place between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies, but noted this MOU would enhance the relationship and keep the community safer.
"It certainly gives the Boulder Police Department access to all the information that the FBI has available, and allows us to action that information that may be relevant to Boulder in a much more timely manner," he said.
The Boulder detective assigned to the task force will receive additional training and the highest security clearances.
"If you just look at some of these incidents that have occurred recently in this country, time is of the essence, minutes count," Herold said. "If that person is not privy to the same intelligence at the same time that the FBI is, well, then lives can get lost. You know, harm is real."
Just last month, the partnership helped thwart a 14-year-old's plan for a mass shooting at a Boulder middle school.
"I really do think that's what this is about, because in these crises, minutes count, seconds count. And I'm in this position because I think my role is to prevent harm." Herold said.
Schneider says the assigned Boulder officer will have most of the training done by August.