News Briefs 2/3

City council approves Joint Terrorism Task Force, formalizing BPD's relationship with the FBI


City council approves Joint Terrorism Task Force, formalizing BPD’s relationship with the FBI

Following staff recommendation, City Council voted 6-3 to approve a motion authorizing the city manager to enter the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), formalizing a longstanding relationship between the two agencies, according to Police Chief Marris Herold. The JTTF will allow the FBI to share high-clearence information, additional emergency response resources and new investigation technologies with the Boulder Police Department (BPD) to address terrorism threats. 

“We simply can no longer do it all ourselves,” Herold said during the Feb. 1 City Council meeting, citing the FBI’s critical assistance in responding to both the March 2021 King Soopers’ mass shooting and, more recently, the apprehension of a wanted man threatening violence against communities in Boulder and Southern California. Herold explained the JTTF “would have no implications on our status as a sanctuary city.”

The first JTTF was established in 1980 in New York City and today about 200 task forces exist around the country. According to the FBI website, JTTFs aim to “create familiarity” among investigators and managers on local and national levels before crises occur. 

During the motion’s public hearing, however, community speakers overwhelmingly opposed the motion. Representing organizations such as NAACP Boulder County, Boulder Showing Up for Racial Justice, and United Campus Workers Colorado, many expressed concerns around accountability and transparency of the JTTF.

The ACLU of Colorado’s Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, Taylor Pendergrass, echoed such concerns in an email: “The (JTTF) has a disturbing history of civil rights abuses: surveilling without reasonable suspicion; profiling people based on their religion, national origin, and political beliefs; and targeting peaceful protestors.”  

The 6-3 vote (with Folkerts, Speer and Joseph against) authorizes the JTTF to promptly begin its training and resource sharing, which will draw 16 hours of officer time per week from BPD’s budget. According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the JTTF’s agreement conditions shall be reviewed every three years, but may be terminated at any time with mutual FBI consent. “This comes down to trusting me to keep this community safe,” Herold said. 

— Emma Athena

Table Mesa King Soopers reopens

After extensive interior and exterior remodeling, the Table Mesa King Soopers will reopen on Wednesday, Feb. 9. 

Employees and community members were asked for input on how to remodel the store, according to a statement from Joe Kelley, president of King Soopers. 

“We know that restoring this location is a very important step in our healing journey,” Kelley said in the statement. Half of the store’s previous employees have committed to returning to this location. 

The reopening will launch with a ceremony at 9 a.m. to honor the 10 people who lost their lives at the grocery store last March when a gunman opened fire.  

Boulder Weekly would love to hear your thoughts on the new space—send your comments, photos and questions to