An Oklahoma City-based institute that offers free counterterrorism training to police officers across the country may be closing for good within the year.
Housed in the same building as the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism has trained more than 16,000 police officers since 2000.
The institute lost its federal funding, which it gets from the Department of Homeland Security, in September and is now in danger of shutting down.
The institute received a $2.2 million federal contract that was supposed to sustain it for three years. After one year of funding, that contract has been dissolved due to a tough fiscal situation in Washington, said the institute's director, David Cid.
“We have to find another source of funding,” said Cid. “We're looking into various places that we think might be logical.”
“If nothing comes out that way, ultimately, we will close.”
Cid said that funding cuts and sequestration may have played a role in the loss of their contract. He said they have enough reserve funds to last them another year at the most, and he has already had to reduce his staff by 50 percent.
The institute's flagship program, InCOP, trains officers to recognize signs of possible threats, as well as how to effectively gather information. The program has trained officers from all over the United States, including major cities like Boston, New York and Miami, Fla.