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Law Enforcement | First Responders

Secret Service wants to ‘light up’ its adversaries at night

ATPIAL illuminator

The U.S. Secret Service, which protects the President, Vice President, various dignitaries and VIPs, is planning to purchase an additional 24 laser pointer / illuminators, designed to be used with (or without) night vision devices, to engage adversaries at night.

The Secret Service will purchase two dozen Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator/Aiming Lights, or ATPIALs, which are manufactured by Insight Technology, of Londonderry, NH.

The ATPIAL device is currently being offered on eBay for $5,995 each.

“As the next generation of the AN/PEQ-2A, the ATPIAL offers more functionality at almost ½ the size and weight,” says a product description posted on the Web site of a night vision equipment supplier, www.ownthenight.com. “Insight’s successful fielding at ATPIALs into multiple branches of the military, as well as federal law enforcement agencies, establishes a rock-solid foundation to now make ATPIAL available to qualified state, municipal and local law enforcement agencies.”

The Secret Service is also planning to procure 24 M3X tactical lights, also from Insight Technology, and assorted accessories. “The M3X is a powerful handheld or weapon mounted white light illuminator used for target identification and area illumination,” explains the Insight Technology’s Web site.

The solicitation was posted online by the Secret Service on January 27, and quotations are due from prospective suppliers by February 3.

Further information is available from Kimberly Spangler, a contract specialist, at [email protected] or 202-406-6820.

MetaCarta releases version 4.5 of geographic search software

Cambridge, MA-based MetaCarta, Inc., a provider of geographic search solutions, has announced the launch of MetaCarta Geographic Search and Referencing Platform (GSRP) version 4.5.  

This software upgrade includes Geographic Data Module (GDM) upgrades, tagging enhancements, connector enhancements, custom gazetteer enhancements, Javascript software-development-kit enhancements and OpenSearch support, MetaCarta says.
GeoTagging enhancements include improvements in recognizing university and higher education institution names, superior natural language processing to disambiguate human names from place names, support for additional coordinate variations, and improved neighborhood and partial street address tagging, the company adds.  
“MetaCarta has been helping its public sector, oil and gas, and digital publishing clients build enterprise local search solutions for more than ten years,” Don Zereski, MetaCarta CEO, said in a statement. “With the rapid growth of location-aware devices, MetaCarta’s products and expertise are in more demand than ever, and we continue to enhance our product through valued customer feedback.”

Tamil arms smugglers sentenced in Brooklyn

Two more would-be terrorist arms smugglers, looking to buy SAMs and AK-47s, have paid the price for falling afoul of an FBI sting.

Sathajhan Sarachandran, 30, and Nadarasa Yogarasa, 55, were sentenced last week in a Brooklyn federal courthouse to 26 and 14 years in prison, respectively, in connection with their efforts to purchase $1 million worth of high-powered weaponry for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The Sri Lankan rebel group, widely regarded as the innovators of suicide bombing, is designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

They were first arrested in 2006, after negotiating with an undercover FBI agent to purchase and export 20 SA-18 heat-seeking missiles, ten missile launchers, 500 AK-47s, and other military equipment for the LTTE. The defendants were acting at the direction of senior LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka, and the LTTE intended to use the SA-18 missiles to shoot down Kfir aircraft used by the Sri Lankan military.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from those arrests.

Andrew Acquarulo Jr. named ComNet president and COO

Danbury, CT-based Communication Networks, dba ComNet, has named Andrew Acquarulo Jr. its  new president and chief operating officer.

He will be responsible for ComNet’s worldwide strategic vision, operations and sales for the ComNet fiber optic and Ethernet product lines, and will report to George Lichtblau, the company’s chairman and CEO.

Acquarulo joins ComNet after 20 years at GE Security and a tour as president and COO at what was International Fiber Systems (IFS).

“Andy is well known and respected within the security industry and his leadership and industry knowledge largely contributed to IFS becoming the acknowledged leader in fiber optic transmission. This success made him the perfect choice to lead ComNet as we move into our next growth phase,“ Lichtblau said in a statement.

Summit Partners takes minority stake in NetWitness Corp.

Herndon, VA-based NetWitness Corp., the threat intelligence and network forensics specialist, reports that it has received an investment from Summit Partners, the Boston, MA-based equity firm.

The investment, says NetWitness, will be used to “fund additional technology acquisitions and other strategic initiatives related to the company’s industry-leading network security technology.”
NetWitness characterizes its offerings as providing an alternative to legacy network monitoring tools that cannot address the current threat environment.

“Raising capital from Summit is a strategic move for NetWitness that will help us to acquire and develop additional innovative technologies and widen our competitive edge in defining the next generation of network security, Nick Lantuh, president of the company, said in a statement.
Summit’s other investments in the security market include McAfee, Postini (acquired by Google), SafeBoot (acquired by McAfee), and Sybari Software (acquired by Microsoft), according to a NetWitness statement.

DHS health office focusing on needs of children during an emergency

The DHS Office of Health Affairs wants to determine if there are 8(a) small business firms, with demonstrable experience with “child preparedness issues” that can help develop standards, tools and training for first responders and non-pediatric medical personnel that could be used in the care of children and families during an emergency.

In a sources sought notice it published on January 27, DHS said it would like to hear from small businesses that can “develop emergency preparedness standards and tools for supporting state and local community planning for children and their families.”

More specifically, the office of health affairs seeks community exercise toolkits, preparedness assessment tools, sheltering standards and training materials, all related to the needs of children in times of crisis.

Interested firms are asked to contact Tamra MacCarrick, a contract specialist, at 202-447-5794, by February 1.

Can states’ health care systems deal with an emergency ‘surge’?

In a recent report to the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight, of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Government Accountability Office looked into the capability of the nation’s health care systems to “surge” after a terrorist attack, a pandemic or some other mass casualty event.

Specifically, GAO examined the “assistance the federal government had provided to help states prepare for medical surge and what states had done to prepare for medical surge.”

GAO noted in an earlier report that, from fiscal years 2002 to 2007, the federal government awarded the states about $2.2 billion through HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Hospital Preparedness Program to support activities to meet their preparedness priorities and goals, including medical surge.

Further, the federal government “provided guidance for states to use when preparing for medical surge, including Reopening Shuttered Hospitals to Expand Surge Capacity, which contains a checklist that states can use to identify entities that could provide more resources during a medical surge.”

In that report, GAO also identified four crucial elements of surge capacity: “increasing hospital capacity, identifying alternate care sites, and registering medical volunteers,” as well as planning for alternate “standards of care.”

In a 20-state review, GAO found that “all 20 were developing [hospital] bed reporting systems”;  “18 were selecting various facilities for alternate care sites”; “15 had begun electronic registering of medical volunteers”; but only seven of the 20 states were planning for “altered standards of medical care to be used in response to a mass casualty event.”

American Systems appoints VP of citizen safety strategic business area

Chantilly, VA-based American Systems, a government IT solutions provider, has named Brian Fitzpatrick vice president of the company's citizen safety strategic business area.

In this role, he will spearhead the company’s business development to help agencies ensure public safety and security.

"The federal government has no more important role than protecting citizens and critical infrastructure during times of threat, crisis and disaster. Few people know agencies' citizen safety challenges better than Brian, who has helped agencies deploy and leverage the latest technologies to prevent, detect and respond to public safety and homeland security challenges," William Hoover, president and CEO of American Systems, said in a statement.

American Systems describes itself as one of the largest employee-owned companies in the U.S., with approximately 1,300 employees nationwide.

Ridge Global names new principal for corporate strategy and growth

Washington, DC-based Ridge Global, an international provider of security and risk management services, has announced the expansion of the company’s executive team with the appointment of Steve Kohler as principal of corporate strategy and growth.  

Kohler previously served as president of Space Florida, a statewide Special District focused on economic development within the Florida aerospace economic sector.


Prior to joining Space Florida, Steve was the president of Winner Global Defense, a privately held company that focuses on military and non-military applications of aircraft countermeasures and laser-based detection technologies and, before that, served as senior vice president for Corporate Advisory Services for CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh.

In 1996, then-Governor Ridge appointed Kohler to lead the Pennsylvania Governor's Action Team, where he was responsible for the configuration of financial incentive proposals for industrial and business expansion projects.

“Steve Kohler has an exceptional and well-regarded background in economic development and business strategy,” Tom Ridge, formerly the first Secretary of DHS and now president and CEO of Ridge Global, said in a statement. “As we continue to see many opportunities ahead for both our clients and our company, Steve’s contributions will further enhance our ability to pursue them.”

EADS N.A. delivers UH-72A Lakota helicopters to Alabama Army National Guard

The Alabama Army National Guard's ability to perform homeland security operations and carry out support missions within the state will be significantly enhanced with the introduction of four UH-72A Lakota light utility Helicopters, delivered by EADS North America, the company says.

The aircraft will be based at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2, in Birmingham, AL.

The Alabama Army National Guard's Lakotas are assigned to Detachment 1, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment.
The UH-72As are to replace Detachment 1's aging OH-58 Kiowa helicopters, and are the first new aircraft coming directly to the Alabama National Guard in many years, according to EADS.

The unit's federal level missions include aerial command, control and reconnaissance in homeland security operations, and state-level support for Alabama's governor and community-based organizations, says EADS.

"It is particularly appropriate that the Lakota has come to Alabama, which has developed a very strong relationship with EADS," David Oliver, Jr., EADS North America's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Our company has an important industrial presence in the state.”



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