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Law Enforcement | First Responders

ICOP awarded Texas state contract

Lenexa, KS-based ICOP Digital, Inc. reports that it has been selected by the State of Texas Office of the Comptroller, Texas Procurement and Support Services division (TPSS), to provide in-car video solutions.


According to ICOP, this contract enables authorized users, including state agencies, local governments, municipalities and higher education institutions, to bypass using their own procurement process and acquire ICOP’s systems.


The contract's initial term expires on October 31, 2010, with options for renewals for four additional years.


“This contract ensures that [Texas agencies] can now upgrade to a reliable state-of-the-art solution for the best quality video evidence on the market today, at an economical price," Dave Owen, ICOP CEO, said in a statement.

FCC seeks ‘deterrent’ force

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that the Federal Communications Commission is seeking a uniformed protective force, given the tone of civic discourse these days and the high-stakes, big-bucks media, telecom and IT issues the commission regularly debates. Plus, of course, people do feel strongly about their TV.


According to solicitation number SOL10000004, the FCC is looking for a contractor who can “manage, train and maintain a uniformed security force that shall constitute a deterrent against unauthorized, illegal, or potentially life-threatening activities directed toward the agency’s employees, visitors, sensitive information, and properties.”


The FCC requests quotations for these services in the solicitation posted January 15, 2010. No response deadline was specified in the solicitation.


For additional information, contact Joyce Terry-Butler, at [email protected] or at 202-418-1857.

OPINION / Remaining attentive through the last tactical mile

Dennis Blair

 

Three administration intelligence officials appeared before two separate Senate committees on January 20 to discuss specifically the failure to keep the alleged Christmas Day underwear bomber off the Northwest Airlines flight, but more generally to describe the difficulty in making the crucial, final intelligence connections in what the officials termed the "last tactical mile."

They all acknowledged that various U.S. intelligence operatives and analysts had collected various bits and pieces of the story that should have fingered Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. But they also pointed out the huge challenge in spotting one unique and genuinely threatening piece of information among the thousands of pieces of data the Intelligence Community receives and processes each and every day.

 "Although we must and will do better, we must also recognize that not all of the pieces rise above the noise level," Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, and Michael Leiter, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in their prepared testimony. They were joined by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Blair talked about the progress that the Intelligence Community has made in recent years in improving intelligence sharing throughout the federal government, as well as between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and fusion centers. Blair seemed particularly proud of the Intelligence Community's "collaborative tools," such as:

Intellipedia, the Intelligence Community's version of Wikipedia, which was announced in 2006 and now allows 16 intelligence agencies and other national security-related offices to collaborate with Top Secret, Secret and Sensitive But Unclassified information;

A-Space, or Analytic Space, which is a project developed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that enables intelligence analysts to use a collaborative work space to gain access to interagency databases, Web-based messaging and other tools;

iVideo, a video sharing Web site, akin to YouTube, that offers Top Secret videos to the intelligence agencies, Secret information to the Defense and State Departments, and Sensitive But Unclassified video to other government employees as well as some outsiders; and,

Intelink, the secure intranet used by the Intelligence Community since 1994 to promote the dissemination of intelligence information.

Advances like these and others can make a huge difference in intelligence collection and analysis, but it seems to me that more attention needs to be focused on the inherent – and virtually unavoidable – quality in human nature to lose attentiveness when one is swimming in a vast ocean of information.

In the physical security field, it has long been recognized that security personnel cannot monitor a large bank of video screens – each streaming a different scene, often without anything interesting happening – for more than 20 minutes or so, before their eyes glaze over and they lose all attentiveness. The security industry has tried to address this short human attention span by developing video analytic software, which supposedly can spot behavior "anomalies" within a few seconds and trigger the appropriate alert, and will never tire of looking at dozens or hundreds of video feeds. Unfortunately, though these analytic packages can indeed remain vigilant for weeks on end, they have not yet proven to be as accurate or useful as promised.

So, the question becomes: How can an individual intelligence analyst remain alert and attentive when he or she is reviewing fragmentary pieces of preliminary intelligence about an individual who has not yet been identified as a bona fide terrorist threat? Put another way: If the analyst is reviewing bits and pieces of data about 50 separate individuals on a particular day – and none of the "derogatory" information about any one individual rises to a level that is unquestionably worrisome – how does the analyst determine which of the 50 potential paths he ought to pursue that day?

It is, of course, easy to say after-the-fact that an analyst could have – and should have – assembled the entire mosaic that would have revealed the underwear bomber's Christmas day plot, but that would have required more attentiveness to seemingly unimportant details at the time than most human beings seem to possess.

The challenge for the Intelligence Community is to develop a system that can trigger "hot pursuits" related to hundreds or thousands of different potential terrorist situations on the thinnest of available evidence; and then run each and every one of those situations to the ground before the individual analyst – or the agency as a whole – loses their attentiveness. That is one helluva challenge.


 

Curriculum development: Training for correctional industries directors

The National Institute of Corrections’ Transition and Offender Workforce Development and Academy divisions are offering a single grant for the development a “competency based, blended modality training curriculum that will provide Correctional Industries Directors with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to set organizational priorities, identify strategic objectives, create measurable goals, establish collaborative partnerships, utilize current labor market information, and provide specialized services and programming that support the offenders’ long term attachment to the labor force.”

No financial terms were specified in the grant announcement, whose funding opportunity number is 10A30. Any public or private agency, educational institution, organization, individual or team with expertise in the described areas is eligible to apply.

Closing date for grant applications is February 12, 2010.

For additional information, contact Pamela Davison at 202-353-0484.

XIO Strategies appoints new EVP

Vienna, VA-based XIO Strategies Inc., a supply chain management and communications consulting firm, reports that Gary Moore has joined its practice as executive vice president.


Moore served previously as the director of logistics at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where he created the Logistics Response Center (LRC), an operations center that manages all logistics issues and tracks resources during a disaster, XIO notes.


Previously, at the Office of Emergency Preparedness / National Disaster Medical System, he managed more than 70 disaster responses and developed and implemented new disaster response teams specializing in weapons of mass destruction, international surgical care and veterinary medicine, according to XIO’s statement.


Most recently, Moore served as the director and chief of police for the Allegany County (MD) Department of Safety.

Introducing the ‘In Case of Emergency’ iPhone app

Legalzoom.com, an online legal service, and Donate Life America (DLA), a non-profit organization, have created and are offering ICE App, intended to help users input the comprehensive data first responders need.


Access to information about allergies, pre-existing medical conditions and current medication is crucial to immediate and effective treatment. If the victim is incapacitated, the first responders are left looking for clues, Legalzoom and DLA say.


ICE App gives the 50 million people who own an iPhone or iPod Touch the chance to have a voice, even when they are unable to speak, they add.


Information stored on the iPhone through ICE App includes the patient's name, photograph, date of birth, height and weight, contact names and numbers, medical conditions, blood type, food allergies, medication allergies and current medications, and organ donation preference.


"We created ICE App to enable every iPhone user to better protect themselves in a matter of minutes," Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of LegalZoom.com, said in a statement.


Ice App is offered free of charge from the iTunes Application Store.

DC Council restricts access to police and corrections department video cameras

 

The District of Columbia has created an emergency management agency that theoretically could monitor about 5,200 video cameras District-wide, but the DC Council has recently passed legislation that would prohibit the emergency agency from viewing cameras operated by the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Corrections.

 

After hearing testimony from a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union at a public hearing last October and contemplating various “privacy concerns,” the District of Columbia Council unanimously passed – and sent to the U.S. Congress for its review – a bill called the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Use of Video Surveillance Regulations Amendment Act of 2009.

 

The District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) is expected to manage the District’s response to natural or man-made emergencies. It has developed a Video Interoperability for Public Safety (VIPS) program, which is intended to provide a common operating framework, so emergency officials can monitor disparate cameras maintained by the DC public schools, transportation department and protective services division.

 

“This consolidated network is supposed to provide the District with enhanced real-time video monitoring, as well as post-event capture and retrieval,” said a legislative report issued last November by the DC Council’s committee on public safety and the judiciary.

 

However, after members of the DC Council began thinking about the implications of the new District-wide VIPS program, they decided to restrict access to certain cameras.

 

“Bill 18-282 ensures that cameras operated by the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Corrections are not used with the VIPS system,” explains the committee report. “The Metropolitan Police Department has the expertise to control and monitor its surveillance cameras and that responsibility should not be shared or transferred to the VIPS program. Moreover, monitoring of police cameras by both the police department and HSEMA would be duplicative, increase costs, and possibly jeopardize the integrity/security of the MPD program.”

 

Similarly, the DC Council determined that the VIPS program should not be allowed to monitor video cameras operated by the Department of Corrections, which uses its CCTV system to monitor the safety of inmates and staff at the DC jail.

 

“Corrections staff should not have to wait for a phone call from the VIPS center to notify them of a disturbance,” the committee report argued. “Moreover, monitoring prison security does not assist in any way HSEMA in its mission of managing the District’s emergency operations.”

 

The approved measure was forwarded to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which, due to the “home rule” provisions that apply to the District of Columbia, has 30 legislative days in which to review the proposed new law.

 

The bill, 18-282 was introduced last May by DC District Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember At-Large Phil Mendelson.

Grant available for 2010 survey of campus law enforcement agencies

What kind of a job are campus law enforcement agencies doing to keep your college-age kids’ schools safe?


If you represent a non-profit, a faith-based or community organization, an institution of higher learning, a consortium with demonstrated organization and community-based experience working with American Indian and Alaska Native communities, including tribal for-profit or nonprofit organizations, tribal colleges and universities, and tribal consortia; or even if you represent a for-profit, commercial organization that is willing to forego making money or charging a management fee for one seemingly worthy project, then you should consider applying for this newly available Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) grant.

 

The BJS is seeking proposals for assistance in reviewing a preliminary design and for a data collection agent to field the 2010 BJS Survey of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies.

According to the BJS, the goal of this program is to generate accurate and reliable national statistics about the police and security agencies serving college and university campuses in the U.S. The survey will be conducted during calendar year 2010 and will collect information on the personnel, functions, budgets, policies, and programs of campus police and security agencies covering the 2009-2010 school year.

A single grant will be awarded. The funding opportunity number for that grant is 2010-BJS-2476. The closing date for applications is March 31, 2010. The award amount is not yet specified.

For additional information, contact Lisa Price-Grear, program analyst, at 202-616-3561.

AES joins with Siemens Government Services to protect Army installations

Peabody, MA-based AES International Corp. reported that it will become a subcontractor under Reston, VA-based Siemens Government Services, Inc., to assist with the maintenance of access control point (ACP) equipment at U.S. Army installations, both in the U.S. and abroad.
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As its part of what it calls a "yearly multimillion dollar project,” AES says it will provide preventative and corrective maintenance on GE Homeland Security products that detect traces of either explosives or narcotics.
 
"With decades of experience in the security marketplace, AES's expertise aligns well with that of SGS, and enables us to increase our footprint in large geographic areas around the world," Gordon Phelps, SGS' ACP program manager, said in a statement. "Both companies' skill sets are complementary, offering our customer a proven track record of delivering state-of-the-art security solutions, outstanding customer service, and the peace of mind to know we understand their mission and pride ourselves on exceeding their security expectations."
 
AES also notes that Aaron Tesnow, its director of business development, has worked with Siemens on a variety of projects for more than three years. "We are a small woman-owned business committed to providing an unsurpassed level of excellence in support of partners such as Siemens, the U.S. Government and the Army Corp of Engineers and this award is further evidence of that commitment," Tesnow said in the company’s statement.air max 95 black

InfraGard appoints new PIO

InfraGard has appointed Monique Merhige, president of Infusion Direct Marketing, as the organization’s new public information officer. 

 

InfraGard characterizes itself as a collaborative effort of the FBI and other federal, state, and local law enforcement, government, academic, and private sector experts, meant to help protect America from acts of terrorism and related criminal activity and to strengthen homeland security efforts. On the national level, InfraGard is a network of more than 33,000 FBI-vetted industry professional volunteers serving as critical infrastructure subject-matter experts in one or more sectors. 

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In her new InfraGard position, Merhige will be responsible for communicating the organization’s importance to the security industry, according to a statement. Her company, Infusion, will coordinate all news releases announcing important news, events and industry trends for InfraGard and maintain relationships with editors at top security industry, technology and business publications, according to the statement. 

 

“We welcome Monique as a terrific addition to our team and we look forward to the marketing expertise and direction she and her team at Infusion bring to keep the momentum building for our organization. Our goal is to continue growing the InfraGard organization and increase the safety of our nation by communicating important security issues in a timely manner to our valued members,” Joseph Concannon, InfraGard’s president, said in the statement.

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