Oklahoma Counter-Terrorism Institute To Close After Losing Funding

Monday, August 11th 2014, 6:40 pm
By: News 9

Terrorism prevention has become a field of its own, but now a vital piece of that work is ending.

The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism was created after the bombing in 1995.

Based on merits alone, M.I.P.T. could be regarded as one of the top training centers in the country. Twenty thousand officers trained across 450 agencies nationwide.

Now, all that work will soon end.

"I was dismayed, angry and ultimately saddened by it and their decision," Executive Director of M.I.P.T. David Cid said.

In the wake of April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City responded with a three-prong approach to counteract that act of terrorism. A museum and memorial created to remember, and an institute created to train local law enforcement on how to prevent terrorists.

"Our training was unique, powerful and demonstratively effective," Cid said.

After 20 years in the FBI, David Cid is (and soon to be was) the Executive Director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

For 14 years, the program has relied on federal funding. Now, the Department of Homeland Security has cut the institute, giving Cid the excuse of sequestration and budget problems.

"When you have an institute that was born of a tragedy as we were, that has a program that is demonstratively effective as we were, it continues to puzzle me," said Cid. "Whoever made the decision, I feel they made the wrong one."

Police chiefs all across the metro share Cid's dismay that the program that's trained agencies all over Oklahoma, the NYPD and Boston police is being forced to close.

Former Oklahoma City Mayor (1987-1999) Ron Norick worries the closure could be a first step in complacency on terrorism.

"It's become too common place, so the institute doesn't have the same meaning for people as it did 20 years ago," Norick said.

It's that promise Cid made 20 years ago to the families of 168 victims that kept him and his office going.

"Oklahoma is prepared, and other places are not and that's unfortunate," Cid said.

Also of note, the M.I.P.T. had six patents specifically on how to detect terrorists.

The M.I.P.T. was located at Rose State College, which plans to keep Cid and his office on campus to create a counter-terrorism course for students.

Web Extra:

The massive memorial flag the M.I.P.T. hung from the ceiling of its previous offices will remain at the old offices, but Cid hopes it will soon be taken to New York City for the 9/11 Memorial, where he feels it belongs.

7/2/2014 Related Story: Terrorism Memorial Flag Needs New Home