Law Enforcement | First Responders
Montclair, CA-based CaseCruzer is offering a new case, the GunCruzer KR-20, designed for the military and law enforcement.
The new case, the company says, “deters malicious sabotage and pilfering by meeting stringent, federal and military rifle and pistol luggage regulations that require four padlock flanges for all rifle cases.”
The case’s 45"L x 17"W x 6.38"H exterior dimensions can accommodate both popular weapons, such as the M4 or the M16 rifle, as well as many handgun brands and sizes, including the M9 and M11 (or P228), CaseCruzer notes.
The case also includes cut-outs for seven rifle magazines, accessories, rail-mounted optics and one desiccant, as well as three magazine cut-outs for pistols.
Among the pistols that the case can accommodate are the Beretta M9 (the standard pistol for U.S. Army and Air Force security forces); 1911s (Colt, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Sig Sauer); Sig Sauer models P226 (in use by U.S. Navy SEALs, federal agents, and law enforcement agencies), P228 (designated as the M11 by the U.S. military), the P250 and the P239; H&K USP-compact .45 suto; Colt Defender 7000D; XD tactical model 5" XD and sub-compact 3", according to CaseCruzer.
The National Institute of Justice, the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, seeks applications for funding research and development of sensor and surveillance technologies.
According to the funding solicitation, those technologies should address the following specific needs of state and local criminal justice agencies:
Detection of the “broad spectrum” of contraband, including metallic and nonmetallic weapons, at any controlled access point. The preferred solution would be a product that, once commercialized, would be commercially available for under $25,000. To prevent contraband from entering correctional facilities, the preferred technology also will be a portal that can detect contraband concealed within body cavities.
Noninvasive, continuous monitoring of a subject’s use of both illegal and prescription substances.
Detection of trace blood at crime scenes from a distance of five feet or greater.
Accurate detection of gunshot residue in the field in real time.
Ability to extract full streams of digital multimedia evidence from incompatible systems, while maintaining the integrity of the metadata.
Applications must be submitted through the Office of Justice Program’s Web-based grants management system, at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/gmscbt.
The funding opportunity number is NIJ-2010-2423. The closing date for applications is March 15, 2009. Amounts and numbers of grants were not specified in the solicitation, and there are no restrictions on applicants.
The National Institute of Justice seeks grant applications from eligible applicants who can “research, develop, and demonstrate a hand-held biometric acquisition device that can identify individuals at a distance.”
NIJ will also entertain applications for the evaluation of existing technologies for such a device.
One hundred grants will be awarded, though the grant notice, number NIJ-2010-2387, does not specify the amounts available for individual grants.
Applications should be submitted via the online grants management system, which can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/gmscbt/.
Application deadline is March 22, 2010.
For additional information or application assistance, contact Dr. John J. Kaplan, program manager, at 202–305–4503 or at [email protected]
In the wake of Frost & Sullivan’s recent prediction that the homeland-security sector will continue to enjoy “healthy” growth, despite the many troubles of the wider economy, comes confirmation from Investorideas.com, an investor research portal, that serious investors are intrigued by homeland security, too.
Recent top searches at InvestorIdeas included homeland-security stocks, the Web portal reports.
In addition to homeland security, other top investor searches InvestorIdeas were renewable energy stocks, water stocks, natural gas stocks, gold stocks and nanotechnology stocks.
“Based on recent weekly data, Investor Ideas predicts 2010 Water Stocks, Homeland Security Stocks and Nanotechnology Stocks will be some of the most interesting sectors to watch this year,” a company statement declares.
Fitchburg, MA-based Headwall Photonics has announced the availability of the High Efficiency Hyperspec imaging sensor for airborne spectral sensing missions that require significantly higher levels of imaging performance than previously available.
By modifying the company's space satellite imaging instruments, the company says it has developed a new class of extremely powerful and cost-effective hyperspectral sensors for the SWIR (shortwave infrared), NIR (near infrared) and extended VNIR (visible and near infrared) spectral regions.
The High Efficiency Hyperspec imaging sensor has already been successfully deployed by a number of military / defense agencies and prime integrators, Headwall adds, saying its goal was to “develop a much more cost-effective hyperspectral sensor solution than the current multi-million dollar airborne platforms offered by larger prime defense contractors and also improve the imaging performance and capabilities.”
Available as a COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) product, the High Efficiency Hyperspec can be utilized for program deployment in volume on UAVs, piloted aircraft, and satellites.
"Innovative, deployable hyperspectral technology is the reason why the defense community looks to Headwall for imaging sensors," David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics, said in a statement. "We have focused our research and development on a platform of robust hyperspectral sensors that can be easily deployed and used by a wider number of military personnel."
Headwall Photonics was formed in 2003 as the result of a management buy-out from Agilent Technologies.
When the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, headed by former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) and former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO), recently gave the government an "F" letter grade for failure to "enhance the nation's capabilities for rapid response to prevent biological attacks from inflicting mass casualties," Los Angeles-based Universal Detection Technology responded by pointing to its array of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bio-terrorism and other infectious health threats.
"Nearly a decade after September 11, 2001, one year after our original report, and one month after the Christmas Day bombing attempt, the United States is failing to address several urgent threats, especially bio-terrorism," UDT quotes Senator Graham as saying in the report. "We no longer have the luxury of a slow learning curve, when we know al Qaeda is interested in bioweapons."
"We have been warned. Now is the time for us all to adequately prepare ourselves," Jacques Tizabi, Universal Detection Technology's CEO, said in a statement.
The company notes that its biological pathogen detection equipment has been extensively used by first responders and private industry, and has been evaluated by the U.S. DoD as well as the United Kingdom military. Its bio-detection kits, the company says, are HS Safety Act certified, and can notify a first responder of the presence of anthrax and other deadly pathogens in as little as three minutes.
Knight Security Systems awarded video surveillance contract by Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Austin, TX-based Knight Security Systems, a security systems integrator, reports that it has been awarded a contract by Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), which it values at more than $12 million and calls the largest single security contract in the state of Texas for 2009.
Knight will install a network of more than 3,200 high-definition video cameras in 335 buildings at 12 state-supported living centers across Texas.
The project is to be completed by August 2011, as required by the DADS contract, but Knight Security Systems believes it could finish six months ahead of schedule.
The installation includes nearly 35 miles of fiber cabling within the video surveillance network, according to Knight.
|Adm. Thad Allen|
Editor’s note: The following speech was delivered at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on February 12, 2010 by Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Thad W. Allen, who is completing his four-year term as the Coast Guard’s 23rd Commandant.
As I deliver my final State of the Coast Guard Address, I would like to narrow my focus a bit, and I'd be glad to expand on topics and questions as you desire, address three major forces that are shaping our current and future environment. They are, of course, our budget requests for fiscal year 2011, the significant progress that has been made in modernizing the Coast Guard over the last three years; and the condition of our aging cutter fleet, are of concern to me.
These forces in combination create challenges and opportunities. To insure we optimize the resources available to us, and at the same time create the conditions for future success, we need a very clear understanding of our priorities, and we’ll talk about that here today.
So what is the state of the Coast Guard? In two words: ready and resilient. We are ready and resilient. We demonstrated that in the view of the entire world in the first hours and days following the Haitian earthquake. We were there first because our operational forces and command and control structure are agile and flexible. Authority to move forces is delegated outside our headquarters, so our field commanders can act immediately. Our forces are working hard to sustain current operations, maintaining cutters until our new ones are delivered.
So let me turn to the first force shaping our current and future operating environment of fiscal 2011 budget request. I have communicated openly to our personnel regarding the details and intent of our 2011 budget. As President Obama remarked in the State of the Union speech, it is important to understand we are in a constrained budget environment. He said, “Families across the country are tightening their belts. The federal government should do the same.” As the Commandant, I have rogered for this message.
The request currently before Congress does reduce personnel in the Coast Guard by 773; but most importantly, allows us to remove cutters and aircraft from service that are aging and in need of replacement.
Some of these are being replaced, and some are being laid up to allow us to maintain our existing fleet. The good news is the budget contains nearly $1.4 billion to allow us to continue replacing aging assets; assets like our high endurance cutters. The budget contains $538 million to buy the fifth national security cutter to continue our replacement of our aging high endurance cutters.
It includes $254 million for fast response cutters to replace our 110 foot control boat class. $40 million so there for maritime patrol aircraft, and we are especially appreciative for the President and First Lady’s support for our families, and for the $13.9 million for improvement or acquisition of housing to support our families. And we thank them again.
As Commandant, I supported this budget as it has provided me the flexibility, and the Coast Guard the flexibility, to continue our recapitalization needs. Collectively, the personnel reduction decommission unit and recapitalizing funding reflect hard choices, choices that best position the Coast Guard to optimize our performance and protect the nation within the funding provided and still replace aging cutters and aircraft. Our intent is to manage current operations as funded in order to sustain our recapitalization program.
The President’s budget does this. This represents the best way forward in a constrained funding level.
And let me add here as the Commandant, and the Coast Guard’s responsibility, to manage current operations with the force size and structure provided in the budget. We can, and we will, do this. But we could use some help as well, and two things come to mind as the outgoing Commandant, on my wish list.
First, we would appreciate an acknowledgement by all of our partners of the following attributes of our service, and you've heard me say this before. We are multi-mission, whole of government, service agency that has the capability to respond along our coast and offshore for any non-defense related incident related to our national interests. We support nearly every department and specialized agency of our government.
As was noted in the introduction, we are federal first responders for the nation. And we are prepared to do our job with the resources provided in the budget under operating principles that has served us well for two centuries. And we must seek to balance our operations across all of our missions.
We should resist the urge to parse our mission set. And as an example some of that, for instance, what do our age to navigation and marine safety missions have to do with homeland security? Frankly, the answer is provided in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, which is available online, and you can read it. Protection of critical infrastructure; security and resiliency of global movement systems; effective emergency response, and continuity of a central services and functions. All of those relate to Coast Guard missions, all those relate to the Department of Homeland Security.
Second issue: we can expect constrained budget for the foreseeable future, as the President indicated at the State of the Union address. We are prepared to support these budgets and manage operations, as I noted earlier. We would ask that consideration be given to creating multi-year estimates that allow us to plan our acquisitions against our predictable funding strength. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to restructure and build an acquisition organization to meet oversight requirements and program management standards. As improved as we are, our acquisition baselines lack credibility when they are not supported by a five year capital investment plan provided to Congress in a timely manner, or overtaken and rendered effective by annual adjustments that change basic business plans. To our Congressional partners, we are working to change that. So to sum up, we understand and support the budget, and we are prepared to execute.
Let me turn now to the second force impacting our service, and that's Coast Guard modernization. It’s important to take stock in what we've accomplished and what remains to be done. In my first State of the Coast Guard speech in 2007, I said there were three things that the Coast Guard must do to position the service for future success.
Modernization enables all three. Here's what I said, and these are the quotes. “First, we need to understand our dramatically changed operating environment. Second, we must change to sustain and improve mission execution. Third, we must be more responsive to the needs of the nation.” And I said, “Our challenge going forward would be to adapt our forces, command and control structure and mission support organization so that we would be nimble, flexible and capable of operating with multiple partners in response to specific incidents, surge operations and increased threat levels while sustaining our performance and our traditional missions.”
That was the cause for action, the value proposition for Coast Guard modernization. It is no less valid today than three years ago, and you could make the case that the cause for action is more compelling given what we've experienced. So what about today? That's a fair question. Let's review the bidding, and here are some highlights of what's been accomplished. We have replaced a multi-layered maintenance and logistics organization with a simplified construct that focuses on the operational unit and a product or program line manager. We've established logistics
centers for our aviation facilities, cutter and small boat fleet, shore infrastructure and our command and control communications, cyberspace sensors and information technology.
It’s a mouthful.
Any unit in the Coast Guard with a support issue has a single point of contact for entry into our mission support system. We are now moving to induct our legacy assets into a unified logistics management information system that will be used by all logistics centers. For the uninitiated in the room, and for those of you from the larger military organization, this is tantamount to a logistical treaty of Westphalia within the Coast Guard. We're talking heavy culture here, folks.
For support that's not centered on an asset, as a ship and aircraft or a small boat, we created service centers to accomplish the same functions for personnel support, medical care and legal services. We have completely revamped our support structure for our reserve component and have reallocated positions that support our reservists closer to the service delivery point. We have a review under way to reaffirm the role and force structure of our reserve component, looking ahead to future mission demand.
The deployable operations group, the DOG, has distinguished itself in meeting a variety of operational demands for incident response, surge operations and increased threat levels. While we are reducing the total number of deployable units, let there be no mistake of the value this command brings to the concept of deployable specialized forces for the Coast Guard, for the Department of Homeland Security, and for the entire nation.
Today, Port Security Unit 307 stands the watch in Port-au-Prince harbor.
The Coast Guard Force Readiness Command has been established under the able leadership of Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan pending passage of authorizing legislation to upgrade the command to a vice admiral. This organization has taken on some of the more complex and perplexing problems in our service, including consolidation of the myriad of visits and inspections that are now required of our operational commands. We have implemented every portion of modernization that has been possible with three exceptions.
Of the three, two belong to the Coast Guard and one awaits action by Congress. The first remaining challenge for the service is the integration of support across our new logistic product and program lines at the unit level. The challenge is to replace a geographically based and isolated support command with an integrated organization that requires no intermediate intervention to integrate the mission support for our forces. That sounded complex, and it is, but the solution in concept is simple. We are replacing regional support commands, and we're part of a multi-level support organization with an integrating structure that allows, for example, small boat product line manager to synchronize his support responsibilities, the product line manager for the communication and sensors on the small boat.
The second Coast Guard responsibility is for our financial audit. This is a goal I established at the outset of my term that I will not see accomplished. The reasons are complex, but the solution ultimately lies in the transition to a new financial accounting system that's being developed by the Department of Homeland Security. That system is under development, and it didn't make sense to procure a new unified accounting system for the Coast Guard, only to have to replace it several years later by the department’s system. In the meantime, there are numerous areas where we can address material weaknesses and improve our representation to the auditors, and we are doing just that.
The third and final step in modernization journey involves Congress. There are four actions that I cannot take, the Coast Guard cannot take, absent Congressional authorization. The first is the change in the title of the Atlantic area command of the Coast Guard operations command, the proposed worldwide synchronizer of Coast Guard operations, or OPCOM. The second is the designation of the Pacific area command as the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, or FORCECOM, the command responsible for training, equipping and providing forces to OPCOM.
The third is the upgrade of our deputy commandant for operations from Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral, and the forces upgrade of the vice commandant from vice admiral to admiral. I laid out these intentions in my first State of the Coast Guard address on the 13th of February, 2007. My request to allow full implementation of Coast Guard modernization is the passage of authorizing legislation so that we may move forward.
Finally, I'd like to talk about cutter readiness. I picked cutter readiness as the third force acting on our operating environment because it synthesizes and integrates the effects of our budget decisions, modernization, and our ability to conduct operations for the public we serve. The current condition of our high endurance cutters is of serious concern to me. Following the extensive repairs required to bring Gallatin and Dallas back into productive service over the last 18 months, we continue to experience increasing casualties to other high endurance cutters that are indicative of overall declining readiness.
This scenario underscores the need to be able to support the cutters that are in service pending their relief by newly constructed national security cutters. This tension between current support levels and the need to bring new cutters online was critical in our decision to decommission high endurance cutters, which is supported in the President’s budget.
As we support the existing fleet, as they are relieved by new cutters, we have transitioned that support to our new logistics organization. This is a prime example where the new product line support structure allows us to provide better support and create synergies not possible prior to modernization. Our ability to implement this new support structure will be more critical as we support our median endurance cutter fleet in advance of the offshore patrol cutter procurement that will begin in the 2012-2013 time frame.
And we are also facing challenges this winter with an aging Great Lakes ice-breaking fleet.
Our recent experience and support of Haiti response, relief and recovery operations is instructive here. As I have noted in the past, the Coast Guard operates one of the oldest fleets in the world. No amount of maintenance can outpace the ravages of age. Here's what happened behind the scenes. Of the 12 major cutters assigned to Haiti relief operations, 10, or 83 percent, suffered severe emission affecting casualties. Two were forced to return to port for emergency repairs, and one proceeded to an emergency dry dock. We also had to divert air resources away from evacuation efforts to deliver repair parts. This process was coordinated flawlessly through our new logistics structure, including the creation of a forward deployed logistics structure at Guantanamo Bay. The response was a triumph for our new mission support organization, but underscored the condition of our fleet.
I would like to tell you that we over-extended because of the compelling nature of the mission in Haiti. The fact is, we will always, always, divert and respond. We will take every resource we have and throw it at the problem. The larger issue is that the condition of the cutters that responded is indicative of the overall readiness of the fleet. The average age of our high endurance cutters is over 41 years compared to 14 years for a Navy ship.
The condition of our fleet continues to deteriorate, putting our crews at risk, jeopardizing our ability to do the job. That's why we must address future readiness, as we have in the President’s budget.
So it would be logical for a person on the street to say, “So how do you do this?”
The answer is, we play to our strengths. And as somebody told me a year or so ago we punch above our weight. As we continue to adapt and change in response to changing mission demand or fiscal challenges, there remain certain aspects of our service that are timeliness: our guardian ethos, our core values, and our operating principles. They guide the men and women of the Coast Guard, active duty, reserve, auxiliary and civilians. It is these people who remain undaunted, it is these people who create the art of the possible when noon exist. And it is these people who do not need direction from higher authority to act.
After the first day of rescue operations in Haiti, a third class petty officer said this in an email to his mother. “Today was the first day I think I've truly been more thankful to be an American. Not because of our infrastructure or the freedoms given to us, but because as a country, we will be there when a country of less fortune is in need. Haiti rarely exports anything to our country. They have no oil or major cash crop we use. But as a country, we will stand together and put aside our different opinions on healthcare, war, or economy and help out those in need.”
These are remarkable words written by somebody so junior in such a concise and meaningful way, and it tells me, and it should tell you, that the state of the Coast Guard is reflected in our people and it’s reflected in their resiliency. So the Coast Guard today remains true to our motto, Semper paratus. We have made significant cultural changes, process improvements and structural enhancements and sustained readiness in the face of ever-increasing demand for our services, and the high performance expectations of the American public. While the state of the Coast Guard remains strong and resilient today, to remain strong, to remain resilient, to remain true to our motto requires continued support for the hard decisions made and supported in this President’s budget.
We are up to the challenge. Thank you.
FEMA has drafted what it calls a National Disaster Recovery Framework, which lays out a systematic approach to disaster recovery that is applicable to all levels of government, and it is soliciting comments about the draft until February 26.
The new document recognizes that there is a continuum of phases that occur during a crisis – spanning preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. The latest framework is intended to “overlap and continue beyond the scope” of FEMA’s earlier planning document, called the National Response Framework, according to a FEMA notice published in the Federal Register on February 10.
The new framework outlines concepts and principles that FEMA believes are important to all disaster recovery “stakeholders.”
“It provides guidance to stakeholders for engaging in pre-disaster recovery planning and other recovery preparedness and resiliency building efforts; clarifies roles for local, state, tribal and Federal governments, private-non-profit and private sector organizations; provides guidance for facilitating post-disaster recovery planning to expedite long-term disaster recovery; and provides assistance to stakeholders in identifying recovery needs beyond replacement or return to pre-disaster condition,” explains the FEMA notice.
FEMA is encouraging the public to comment on this latest draft. “We are particularly interested in receiving input on whether the document’s outline of the relationship between the existing Emergency Support Functions and the proposed Recovery Support Functions is clear,” said the notice.
Interested parties can read the entire framework, as well as any comments, by visiting http://www.regulations.gov and citing docket number FEMA-2010-0004.
FEMA said its National Disaster Recovery Framework addresses short, intermediate and long-term disaster recovery challenges that arise from all hazard events, whether natural or man-made.
It notes that a working group on this subject was established by President Obama in October 2009, and co-chaired by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Shaun Donovan. More than 600 stakeholders provided input to the working group, which led to the development of the current draft. “We now seek direct feedback on the draft NDRF itself through this public comment period,” said FEMA.
The Federal Register notice was signed by W. Craig Fugate, FEMA’s Administrator.
The U.S. Treasury Department has issued new rules that will allow law enforcement agencies in 27 different European countries, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies in the U.S., to ask banks and other financial institutions for transaction information that could help them investigate possible money-laundering and terrorist financing schemes.
The new rules will broaden the scope of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, by handing virtually the same powers to foreign, state and local law enforcement agencies that the federal government has been using exclusively since 2002.
Under Section 314(a) of the USA Patriot Act, the federal government has had the authority to require U.S. financial institutions to search their records to determine if they have maintained an account or conducted a transaction with a person suspected of engaging in terrorist activity or money laundering. Under a final rule published by FinCEN in the Federal Register on February 10, that authority will now be extended to law enforcement agencies in 27 European countries that have signed bilateral info-sharing agreements with the U.S.
The bilateral agreements were intended to make info-sharing between countries, in either direction, more effective and convenient. “Expanding that process to include certain foreign law enforcement requesters will greatly benefit the United States by granting law enforcement agencies in the United States the reciprocal rights to obtain information about matching accounts in [European Union] member States,” says the Federal Register notice.
Under the new rules, foreign, state and local law enforcement agencies will need to comply with the same provisions that have applied for years to requests originated by the federal government: the requester will need to certify that the matter in question is “significant” and that it has been “unable to locate the information sought through traditional methods of investigation.” Those thresholds were established so banks and financial institutions are not bombarded with frivolous requests.
Further information about the new rules is available from the FinCEN regulatory helpline at 800-949-2732, by hitting Option 2.