Collaboration and information-sharing are key to any effective law enforcement effort. And there is no greater testament to this than the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). EPIC is one of, if not the oldest law enforcement intelligence centers in the United States that provides multi-disciplinary support for criminal investigations. With its systems, programs, manpower, and global reach, EPIC is truly a valuable resource and force multiplier that can enhance any law enforcement agency’s efforts to better serve and protect the community.
To provide an overview of the capabilities and organizational framework of EPIC are Special Agent in Charge (SAC) James R. Reed, Director of the El Paso Intelligence Center, and Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Michael “Vince” Kersey.
Specifics discussed on this webinar include:
- The El Paso Intelligence Center’s mission, the criminal activities from Colombia and Mexico that it tackled in the first few years, and the evolution that EPIC went through to what it is today.
- The important partnerships that EPIC fostered through the years in the federal, state, local as well as the international level that allowed EPIC to develop its capabilities.
- A glimpse into EPIC’s various sections, units, functions and scope of work, and mechanisms, efforts and products that assist communities with intelligence support for their needs.
- The Tactical Operations Section:
- The Watch Operations Unit that maintains federal databases from which law enforcement agencies can request queries regarding individuals, cases, and vehicles linked to crimes.
- The Technical Incident Notification (TIN Alert) which notifies LEOs and LEAs of vital, tactical, and actionable information to help prevent and curb criminality.
- The National License Plate Reader Program that utilizes local LE and DEA resources to provide information on vehicles and characters linked to illicit activities traversing roads across the country.
- The State and Local Programs Unit that provides training to law enforcement personnel on interdiction operations across different transportation types.
- The Air Investigative Unit which supplies intelligence to target and disrupt drug trafficking groups’ air transportation capabilities.
- The Global Tracking Unit that does real-time monitoring of vehicles, aircrafts, and mobile phones, among others, for surveillance purposes of law enforcement.
- The Research and Analysis Section:
- The Asset Identification Unit which generates reports on subjects to identify potentially forfeitable assets as well as currency seizure analysis.
- Operation Fountainhead, an effort that is intended to broaden information sharing and identification of impressions, markings, logos, and other identifiers found in packages of drugs.
- The Trucking Initiative which maintains a database of trucking companies, vehicles, and drivers to facilitate potential smuggling activities.
- The IT innovation and Support Section:
- The EPIC portal that supports EPIC’s goal to enhance information sharing through infrastructure that streamlines customer’s access to EPIC resources and tools.
- The Vehicle Contraband Concealment Database which provides a visualization of where contraband may be hidden in various types of vehicles.
- How to Leverage EPIC’s capabilities through the online Request Access Form and the EPIC Capabilities Briefing.
Topics touched on during the Q&A were about:
- Forging a partnership with EPIC, EPIC’s partners, and how to work with EPIC.
- The need to bridge the gap on the benefit of EPIC for the officers on the streets.
- Security threat groups and gangs intelligence available through EPIC.
- How cartels are currently operating in terms of cryptocurrency vs. real money.
- Contacting EPIC for flight and passenger manifests.
Resources and Handouts
- El Paso Intelligence Center Commercial Trucking Initiative
- El Paso Intelligence Center Vehicle Contraband Concealment Application
- Asset Identification Unit
- Global Tracking Unit
- EPIC TriFold
- Air Investigative Unit
- DEA National License Plate Reader Program
- Nlets Handout
- “Update on EPIC capabilities. Very valuable information for my agency and my students (I teach crime intelligence analysis classes on behalf of my agency).” — Alexander
- “Excellent presentation today. FYI when I worked within different roles within Ontario Corrections here in Canada we did a lot of information sharing. E.g. Policing. Immigration and Canada Border Service.” –Bob
- “All of the capabilities of EPIC, I knew about some of the things they offered, but not all.” — Abigail
- “All of what EPIC has to offer. Even though I send RFIs to them all the time, it was helpful to expand on some items that I was never aware of.” — Joshua
- “Great Job! The presenters were informative and provided useful information to various agencies across the board.” — Keana
- “I was unaware of EPIC and the information that it is able to provide. I was very impressed that the speaker invited participants to contact him personally. It was useful that the speaker walked participants through the process of gaining access.” — Angela