SHERIDAN — Forward Sheridan would like to make a move to protect sensitive data within the city.

Jay Stender, executive director of Forward Sheridan, told legislators Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum that he would like to court the InfraGard program used by the FBI for data security.

InfraGard is a program that partners the FBI with the private sector to protect industry data specifically from acts of hostility against the United States. The strategy pulls together industry experts to do a comprehensive study to decide the best way to prevent loss of vital data to security breaches.

“We have the opportunity to host the InfraGard activity in Wyoming the second quarter of 2015,” Stender said. “We’re in the pitch for that.  We’re going to have some competition for that, but we’ve already got a few cards on it.”

Stender said one of those cards was a visit by FBI agents who were in Sheridan for a security convention in the fall and were impressed with the city.

“When the FBI folks came up here, they were astonished by the industry sectors we had,” Stender said. “We had power, we had energy, we had banking, we had healthcare, we had real estate.”

With the FBI having already made a pitch to Casper for the oil industry, Stender believes that it won’t be difficult to woo the program to Sheridan now that members of the agency understand the need for data protection in the city.

“From a state perspective, folks like Flint Waters at the (Chief Information Officer’s) office, Laura Ladd at (Wyoming Retirement), Wyoming Infrastructure Authority — all those folks — have a mandate within their operators circumstance to maintain high level data security,” Stender said. “We’d really like to champion this to be up in Sheridan.”

Founded in 1996 in a Cleveland, Ohio, FBI field office, InfraGard is a nonprofit and is now active in every FBI field office. Local chapters meet monthly and membership is offered to U.S. citizens at no charge.