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California Common Operating Picture for Threat Awareness

May 16, 2016 - Developed through the Statewide Risk Management Program in collaboration with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and eight California Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) regions, the California Common Operating Picture (Cal COP) for Threat Awareness addresses the statewide need for storing and sharing critical infrastructure information and enhances situational threat awareness. Cal COP is a cloud-based data sharing tool that integrates geospatial data, critical infrastructure assessments, and real-time threat information for law enforcement, first responders, emergency managers, and public health agencies.1 Members of California’s public safety community have successfully used Cal COP to coordinate and manage security risks for several large-scale public events.


Cal COP was initially funded through a $1.9 million UASI investment with an additional $1.9 million in UASI funds per year for maintenance and subscription services. Cal COP’s database contains detailed information on more than 60,0002 critical infrastructure assets across the state, including contact information, geolocation and site details, sector and sub-sector assignments, vulnerabilities, and facility documents and images, such as floor plans. Cal COP also incorporates risk, threat, and capability assessments that help partner agencies better understand the situational awareness picture in complex emergencies and support more effective and efficient incident response. Additionally, first responders can access Cal COP via mobile applications, which allows them to receive and provide incident updates from the field in real-time.

Partner agencies have successfully used Cal COP to maintain situational awareness and coordinate responses for several high profile special events. For example, specialized teams from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) and Los Angeles Police Department used Cal COP to disseminate timely field incident reports during the: 

  • 2012 U.S. Open Golf Championship in San Francisco 
  • 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco 
  • 2013 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles 
  • 2014 Academy Awards in Los Angeles
  • 2015 41st Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 
  • 2015 Bay to Breakers in San Francisco 
  • 2016 Super Bowl 50 in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • 2016 Oscars / 88th Academy Awards in Los Angeles

Additionally, during the 2012 violent civil unrest in the city of Oakland, the NCRIC used Cal COP to share locations of critical infrastructure with the Oakland Police Department to help the agency prioritize which assets to protect and mitigate risk to the local critical infrastructure.  


NCRIC, Email correspondence with the FEMA National Preparedness Assessment Division, January 15, 2016.

California Common Operation Picture for Threat Awareness Overview. Accessed on January 20, 2016. 


The Lessons Learned Information Sharing Program is a Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency’s resource for lessons learned and innovative ideas for the emergency management and homeland security communities. The content of the documents is for informational purposes only, without warranty, endorsement, or guarantee of any kind, and does not represent the official positions of the Department of Homeland Security. For more information please email