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Disaster Preparedness | Emergency Response

Boston shut down as bombing suspects chased down

Boston bombing
suspects

The greater Boston area is shut down with bus and subway service suspended and local businesses and universities closed, as federal and local authorities chase down two men believed to have carried out the Boston Marathon bombings.

One suspect, pictured in photos and video released by the FBI the evening of April 18, is dead, apparently after a shootout and car chase with police. The other suspect, who was also in the released pictures and video, remains at large prompting early morning warnings from police for residents in the Boston suburb of Watertown and adjacent suburban towns to remain indoors.

Reportedly, the men shot and killed a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (MIT), MA, and wounded a transit authority officer the night of April 18, about five hours after the FBI publicly released the suspects’ photos. The two men also reportedly carjacked a vehicle and lead police on a chase in which the suspects reportedly hurled explosives at their pursuers.

One suspect was pronounced dead at a local hospital after the shootout.

Police and federal authorities have called both suspects extremely dangerous and “terrorists,” with reports saying the remaining man could have explosives with him, or on him.

The Associated Press reported early on April 19, that the men are brothers from Chechnya and have lived in the U.S. for one year and also identified the living suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, MA.

The unprecedented, dramatic events began to unfold just after 5 p.m. on April 18 after the FBI at a press conference unveiled video capture and photos of the two men captured by private security cameras at a downtown department store near the finish line of the April 15 marathon.

At around 10 p.m., reports of a shooting near the MIT campus at a 7-11 store in Middlesex County, MA, came in and a subsequent carjacking. A statement from the Middlesex County district attorney the evening of April 18 said an MIT campus police officer responding to a report of a disturbance in the area of Vasser and Main streets was reportedly shot.  According to authorities, the officer was found evidencing multiple gunshot wounds.  He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.

“During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time," Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference later that night.

Law enforcement, homeland security, White House vow to find Boston bomber

Copley
Square
explosion

Federal, state and local investigators are in the initial stages of tracking down the person or persons responsible for two bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded over 100, but said no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The latest details to emerge from the afternoon of chaos in the city included news that the bombs  -- which were stuffed in trashcans near the race route  -- contained ball bearings or BBs meant to cause even more substantial injuries to bystanders.

A third device, which didn’t detonate, was found near the race grandstand at the finish line. Federal authorities have also told news organizations that the explosive devices were small and didn’t contain high explosives like C-4.

The New York Times reported two additional explosive devices were found in downtown Boston. Security measures in other U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C. and New York City, have been stepped up in response to potential future attacks, as have security measures in cities across the world, including London, where another marathon event is scheduled in the coming weeks.

Three people, including an eight year old boy, were killed in the blasts that occurred within 100 yards of one another near Boston’s Copley Square. More than 140 were injured, some grievously, with shrapnel injuries that first responders likened to battlefield wounds.

Many of the wounded included children and a two-year-old child was being treated at Boston’s Children’s Hospital for critical head injuries.

A motive for the attacks has yet to be determined. No person or organization, foreign or domestic, has claimed responsibility.

The Pakistan Taliban, which has threatened to carry out domestic attacks on the U.S. denied responsibility for the attack the evening of April 15.

“The situation remains fluid, and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation,” said an FBI statement issued at 9 p.m. on April 15.

Hours before, in a televised statement president Obama said it was unclear who was behind it, but whoever it was would “feel the full weight of justice.” White House officials have called the incident an act of terrorism.

Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, like other federal agency officials in Washington sent her condolences to the families of the dead and injured and added that her agency is providing “any support necessary” for the investigation. She also encouraged vigilance in the aftermath of the attack.

House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and other members of the committee, including ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) in an April 15 statement said much the same, offering thoughts and prayers for the victims and thanks to first responders and the public for their actions in the minutes after the bombs went off and as the investigation moved forward.

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) vowed to “get to the bottom of this” and use the information gathered along the way to bolster future defenses.

GSN 2012 Awards announced: White House deputy of homeland security recognized for leadership at annual gala

GSN Awards 2012

Hundreds of the best of the homeland security community’s federal, state and municipal government officials, government contractors, systems integrators, IT vendors and physical security product and solutions providers all came together the night of November 29 in a ballroom of the Washington, D.C. convention center to receive accolades.

The GSN awards dinner, which has become a Washington tradition over the last four years, offered a chance for the excellence and civic-minded spirit of homeland security efforts nationwide to be recognized.

Not only were the best tools and technologies acknowledged , but the people and groups who use them, from local police departments in Florida and Washington state, to the White House, were honored at the event.

During the awards ceremonies, Richard Reed, Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security, received the second annual Government Security News/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation in Public Safety and Security. Reed was chosen for tireless work in his key role in leading the development of national policy related to resilience, transborder security and community partnerships. He has been described as the president’s eyes and ears during disasters. In crises, such as the Gulf oil spill, H1N1 pandemic, and Haiti earthquake, Reed has sprung into action at the White House, coordinating information and gathering people to cope with these catastrophes.

Reed told Government Security News in an interview after the dinner that gatherings like GSN’s awards ceremony were invaluable in demonstrating that the hard work of creating a resilient, strong response to crises is performed by thousands of individuals, like those in attendance. Gatherings that bring the diverse emergency response and homeland security communities together can broaden perspectives and spur new ideas, he said.

Reed has been a determined, mostly behind-the-scenes, captain of federal emergency response efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping prepare for, and respond to, some of the worst natural disasters the nation has known, from one of the deadliest tornado seasons in history in the Midwest, to historic wild fires in the west, and massive storms in the eastern U.S.

Reed said the key to capable response to such staggering events lies not only in federal hands, but in enabling state, local and even personal responses. Getting resources and training in place before disasters happen goes a long way in an effective response and recovery, he said. “The true first responders are friends, neighbors and co-workers” in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, said Reed. Local police, firefighters and other agencies arrive second, he said. Enabling people with information concerning what resources are available or where they can go for help or supplies empowers them, said Reed.

Government Security News managing partner Adrian Courtenay has made the GSN/Raytheon award an annual tradition. The prize is sponsored by the Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world, which is headquartered in Waltham, MA.

Notable 2012 government excellence award winners included the local police departments in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL, for their ground-breaking work in preparing for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this past summer. The departments put together comprehensive plans to gently defuse potentially volatile political demonstrations at the event. Both departments were also praised for implementing an innovative interoperable communications network during the GOP convention.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was recognized for its groundbreaking work on a small radiation detector. The Naval Air Systems Command won an award for its work on the Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance program, which developed an aerostat for long-term surveillance capabilities to protect ground soldiers in Afghanistan.

The complete list of GSN’s 2012 Award winners appears below: 

CATEGORY 1 – VENDORS OF IT SECURITY PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS

 

Best Anti-Malware Solution

 

Invincea

 

Best Identity Management Platform

 

Alert Enterprise

 

Best Certificate Management Solution

 

Entrust

 

Best Compliance /Vulnerability Assessment Solution

 

Agiliance

 

Best Data Security/Loss Management Solution

 

WAVE Systems

 

Best Endpoint Security Solution

 

StillSecure

 

Best Forensic Software

 

Silvertail

 

Best Intelligence Data Fusion and Collaborative Analysis Solution

 

Lookingglass Cyber Solutions

 

Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution

 

Intellidyne

Vanguard Integrity Professionals

 

Best Network Security/Enterprise Firewall

 

Black Lotus

 

Best Privileged Access Management Solution

 

Kikusema

Xceedium

 

Best Real-Time Dynamic Network Analysis

 

Fidelis Security

 

Best Continuous Monitoring Solution

 

ForeScout

Redseal

 

Best Security Incident/Event Management Solution (SIEM)

 

NetIQ

 

CATEGORY 2 – VENDORS OF PHYSICAL SECURITY PRODUCTS & SOLUTIONS

 

PHYSICAL SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL & INDENTIFICATION

 

Best Biometric Identification Solution

 

Fulcrum Biometrics

 

Best Integrated System for HSPD 12/FIPS 201 Compliance

 

Brivo

 

Best Platform for Physical and Logical Access

 

Alert Enterprise

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Best Interoperable First Responder Communications

 

Covia Labs

 

Best Mass Notification Systems

 

AtHoc

 

Best Regional or National Public Safety Communications Deployment

 

Desktop Alert

 

DETECTION PRODUCTS

 

Best Explosives Detection Solution

 

AS&E

 

Best Long Range Detection Systems

 

Vidisco

 

Best Nuclear/Radiation Detection

 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

 

Best Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution

 

Panasonic

 

Best Thermal/Night Vision/Infrared Cameras

 

HGH Infrared Systems

Vumii

 

Best Network IP Cameras

 

Axis Communications

 

Best Video Storage/Digital Transmission Systems

 

Panasonic

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

 

Best Perimeter Protection Solution

 

Senstar

 

Best Crash Barriers

 

Nasatka

 

Best Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Solution

 

NICE Systems

 

SERVICES

 

Best Disaster Preparedness or Disaster Recovery & Clean-up Service

 

High-Rise Escape Systems

 

Best Facility Security/Force Protection Service

 

Whitestone Group

 

Best Homeland Security Training/Higher Education Solutions

 

Bellevue University

 

Category 3: Government Security News 2012 Government Excellence Awards

 

Most Notable Airport Security Award

 

Defense Manpower Agency

 

Most Notable Maritime/Port Security Program

 

Ohio Department of Public Safety/Northern Border Initiative

 

Most Notable Railroad/Mass Transit Security Program

 

Denver Regional Transportation Authority

 

Most Notable Critical Infrastructure Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital, Tucson, AZ

 

Most Notable Cyber Security Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Department of Energy

 

Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation

 

U.S. National Guard

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter-Terrorism Program

 

Orange County Intelligence Assessment Fusion Center

 

Most Notable Municipal/County Programs, Projects or Initiatives

 

Seattle, Washington Police Department

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida Police Departments

 

Federal Government

 

Naval Air Systems Command (Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance)

GSN 2012 Homeland Security Awards program open for entries

The Government Security News 2012 Homeland Security Awards Program officially opened for entries on May 1, once again featuring 45 Awards in three broad Categories:Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

Returning as corporate Sponsors of the 2012 Program are BRS Laboratories of Houston, TX -- a leading software development company for video behavioral recognition software that deploys easily and rapidly on large scale video networks and provides actionable information without inundating end users with false alarms -- and Entrust, Inc. , of Dallas, TX, which offers physical/logical access, mobile security, certificate management and other identity-based solutions to governments and large enterprises.  Additional sponsors will be announced, and profiles of all 2012 sponsors, will be published in coming weeks. Companies interested in joining the ranks of sponsors of the 2012 Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

The cost to submit an entry in the 2012 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies. Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

According Adrian Courtenay, managing partner of World Business Media, several new categories created in 2011 to acknowledge successful initiatives of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and preventing crime will again be included in 2012. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local”; “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local”; and “Most Notable Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program”.

In the 2011 contest, the Bastrop Country, TX, Unified Command (including county, state and federal government agencies) was awarded the trophy for “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation” in battling 2011 Texas wildfires in Bastrop County. The United States Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Sector, was winner in the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction or Arrest” category for a dramatic arrest on St. Clair River in Detroit, and the Los Angeles Police Department was recognized for having the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program.”

Another category that was new in 2011, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military”, will also be continued, in recognition of the emergence of Cyber Security as a vitally important component of overall security for any nation. The winner of this award in 2011 was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 2012 Awards Program will once again culminate with a gala awards dinner in the fall, at a venue to be announced shortly. In the 2011 program, the “GSN/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation” was introduced and presented to Admiral Thad Allen (US Coast Guard-ret.), who came out of retirement twice in recent years to serve his country, first in heading up the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and later in managing the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In remarks for the 2011 Awards Dinner audience, Admiral Allen said the continuing work of technology companies and first responders was key in any disaster. He urged everyone to become a “lifelong rapid learner” to better cope with disasters, both man-made and natural. He also said “reconciling opportunity and competency” when disaster strikes is essential to any effective recovery, and being on top of the latest, most effective technology is a product of being a lifelong rapid learner. He also said clear communications is also a key to effective response and amplified his call for a nationwide interoperable first responder radio network. 

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, and video interviews with Admiral Allen, as well as sponsors and winners in the 2011 Awards program, are available at the GSN Video Center at www.gsnmagazine.com/videocenter.

Entry forms and other information about the 2012 Awards Program are available at www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2012/welcome.

GSN 2011 Awards Program opens for entries on April 26

Government Security News has announced that its 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program  will officially open for business and start accepting entries in the program’s 45 awards categories on Tuesday, April 26.

The 2011 program contains a number of exciting new categories, reflecting the dynamically changing threat environment, in all three of the overall awards groupings: Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions, and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

The cost for each entry in the 2011 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies.

Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

Adrian Courtenay, Managing Partner of GSN’s parent company, World Business Media, LLC, cited two intriguing new categories in the government sector that have been selected to acknowledge solid “boots on the ground” achievements of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and stopping crime. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local” and “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local.”

Acknowledging the increasing importance of cyber security and the threat of cyber war among nation-states, Courtenay also pointed out that the government awards in 2010 have been expanded to include a category titled, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military.”

Returning for its third year as a sponsor of the GSN Awards Program is founding sponsor ArcSight, now a business unit of Hewlett Packard Software and Solutions, whose enterprise threat and risk platform is an integrated product for collecting, analyzing and assessing security and risk information. ArcSight is also a repeat winner in the GSN awards program for its Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) products for collecting, analyzing and assessing security incident event information.

Also returning as event sponsors are General Dynamics C4, located in Phoenix, AZ, a major developer and integrator of secure communications and information systems and technology; and  Mutualink, another GSN award winner, which creates networks of interoperable communities that can instantly share radio, voice, text, video and data files, and telephone communications in a secure environment.

The fourth and final sponsor to date in the 2011 Awards Program is Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc., of Houston, TX, also known as BRS Labs, whose software uses the fascinating, scientifically developed cognitive reasoning and artificial intelligence of behavioral analytics to leverage a stream of intelligence from millions of surveillance cameras worldwide, in order to provide alerts regarding abnormal or suspicious behavior.

Profiles of each of the 2011 sponsors will be posted on the GSN Web site in the coming weeks.

Additional companies or organizations interested in joining the ranks of 2011 sponsors of the GSN 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

According to Courtenay, the 2011 Awards Program will culminate with the annual awards dinner in early November at a venue to be announced shortly. “It’s going to be hard to top last year’s elegant dinner and spectacular after-dinner keynote presentation by four-star General Barry McCaffrey (USA-Ret.). But we’re going to try!”

In 2010, the GSN awards were presented to a sold-out ballroom at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, that included many distinguished government and military officials, academics, law enforcement and public safety professionals from across the country, along with the systems integrators, defense contractors and vendors of products and solutions used in homeland security.

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at:

www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.

Further information and entry forms for the 2011 Awards Program are available at:

www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2011/welcome.

Obama seeks three percent hike in discretionary budget at DHS

Despite official murmurings a few months ago that the fiscal year 2011 budget request for DHS might decline slightly, the budget package unveiled on February 1 actually shows a three percent increase in “discretionary spending” by DHS in 2011, versus the prior year, and modest growth, at approximately the predicted rate of inflation, in the outer years.

“The total fiscal year 2011 budget request for DHS, including fee funded and mandatory spending, is $56.3 billion, a two percent increase over the fiscal year 2010 enacted level,” said Peggy Sherry, the acting  chief financial officer at DHS, in a telephone conference call with journalists on February 1. “The department’s fiscal year 2011 net discretionary or appropriated funding request is $43.6 billion, an increase of three percent over the fiscal year 2010 enacted level.”

In releasing his overall budget request, President Obama proposed a freeze in government spending for a portion of the discretionary domestic spending plan for three years, but he specifically exempted homeland security expenditures from that freeze. “It won’t apply to our national security – including benefits for veterans,” said Obama in remarks he made in the White House on February 1.

Some observers speculated that the slight bump up in DHS spending may have resulted from the nationwide trauma caused by the failed Christmas Day underwear bombing attempt, and the urgent call for stronger screening measures at the country’s airports. However, a DHS official who participated on the conference call with journalists, but requested anonymity, would not attribute the budget increase to that terrorist attack.

“As part of the budget process, we examined different scenarios and options,” explained the official. “Those are discussions that are internal to the Administration and what you see in the budget release today is the end product of all those budget deliberations.”

Among the thousands of individual line-items for specific programs and planned procurements are the following highlights:

Advanced imaging systems – The 2011 budget requests an additional $214.1 million to install about 500 extra advance imaging technology machines at airport checkpoints, above and beyond the 500 systems that had already been planned. These funds will place such whole body scanners in 75 percent of the country’s largest airports, said Sherry.

Explosive detection – Beyond body scanners, DHS will seek an additional $85 million to bolster international flight coverage by federal air marshals, an increase in $60 million for an additional 800 explosive trace detection machines and a $71 million bump up to pay for an additional 275 K-9 teams at airport check points.

Border Patrol – The new budget envisions a decrease of 180 personnel in the ranks of the Border Patrol, which will be achieved largely through attrition. A DHS official suggested that the overall operating effectiveness of the Border Patrol will not be affected by this decline in personnel slots because the Border Patrol has almost doubled in size during the past five years. “A lot of the agent workforce, the substantial portion of it, has only a couple of years experience,” said this DHS official. “As they become more seasoned and more mature in their jobs, their effectiveness will increase, and because we are not doing the extensive hiring of 2,000 to 3,000 new agents a year, we can afford to put less into training improvement.”

Cyber-security – By contrast, DHS is planning a substantial beef-up in its cyber-security efforts. The new budget seeks $379 million to develop the National Cyber Security Division, which will attempt to safeguard the dot.gov and dot.com domains, and limit the nation’s vulnerability to computer attacks. DHS wants to add another $5 million to the $5 million that was in last year’s budget for the National Cyber Security Center, which one DHS official characterized as “still in its infancy.” The budget envisions an increase in the Center’s staffing to 40 people and the enhancement of its expertise, so it can integrate with other cyber-centers throughout the federal government.

Terror trials – Contrary to media reports that a terror trial in Manhattan might require a billion dollars in security measures, the 2011 budget request for DHS includes only $200 million for such security measures, which would be available through the traditional urban area grant programs. “The department took a look at it and we think $200 million is really our best estimate of the costs,” said the DHS official.

Federal contracting – In what it calls “re-balancing the workforce,” DHS is planning to rely less on outside vendors and more on internally recruited and trained personnel, particularly in the areas of cyber-security --  where DHS is authorized to hire as many as 1,000 new cyber-specialists – and the intelligence work often referred to as “connecting the dots.” “In our analysis and operations activity, we have a major increase in the number of feds doing intelligence type work,” said Sherry.

Coast Guard – A DHS fact sheet issued by the Office of Management and Budget points out that the budget request includes $538 million for a fifth National Security Cutter and $240 million to produce four new Fast Response Cutters. Even so, the new budget seeks funds for 1,100 fewer active duty Coast Guard personnel. “We are looking to reorganize and restructure certain elements of the Coast Guard to create greater efficiency,” explained a DHS official, “and there are obviously tradeoffs made as part of that to ensure we could continue to recapitalize the Coast Guard.”

President Obama’s budget request was delivered to Capitol Hill and will now undergo months of scrutiny by lawmakers. Fiscal year 2011 begins officially on October 1, 2010.

Expert Providers Deliver School Emergency Management Solution

VINELAND, N.J., April 12, 2018 -- ComTec Cloud, Division of ComTec Systems Inc., and Sonitrol Security of Delaware Valley announced today that they have standardized the design and installation of a new Education Security and Monitoring System to provide advanced security and enhanced communications for schools.

"ComTec is proud to continue our legacy of providing leading technology solutions to the educational community," said Mike Vertolli, President of ComTec Systems. ComTec Cloud Services built the iConnect-EDU platform and integrated ALERT Advanced Layered Emergency Response Tools modules for enhanced safety and communications: from automatically locking down the school and integrated emergency paging, to in-building signage, we are helping to protect our students and community."

The offering includes hardware and software to trigger an emergency response; an emergency notification system; integration with core systems including access control, Sonitrol Intrusion Detection with live audio feeds to the Sonitrol central station, the phone system, and the school public address system; and strobe lights, emergency buttons, and signage within the buildings. The emergency notification solution is integrated with a smartphone app to communicate with parents, students, and staff.

"This solution leverages the full capabilities of Sonitrol. After over 53 years in the security industry, Sonitrol has delivered services to over 12,000 schools nationally and over 400 in PA, NJ, and DE.  With the launch of our school alerting solution, we are offering an array of cutting-edge safety tools that better enable school districts to offer the best information to emergency responders, staff, parents, and students in the event of a situation," said Joe Allen, Vice-President/Owner of Sonitrol. "With 24x7 live monitoring and the active alerting system, this will give parents peace of mind."

The notification technology provides needed information on a timely basis.  With both SMS and in-app notifications, the system is a powerful way to communicate in a controlled manner.  The system allows one-way alerts, for example, a late opening message, and also enables two-way communications, for instance, the athletic staff can acknowledge that they will turn on the field lights.  Authorized users can push a message to thousands or a few individuals, and require acknowledgment or reply if necessary.

"We always wanted Cumberland County TEC to be at the forefront of technology and safety.  CCTEC was designed to represent the best technology in a next generation school.  We have done a great deal of research on the technology options for this solution.  ComTec's integrated mass notification system combined with Sonitrol's security and safety offering has delivered the community a state of the art platform that has exceeded all expectations," said Gene Mercoli, Business Administrator of Cumberland County Technology Education Center. "ComTec and Sonitrol worked well with Garrison Architects and Pennoni Associates to design the solution into our infrastructure.  This enhanced communications technology will deliver real-time information to emergency responders, staff, parents, and even students. The ability for the school to require acknowledgment to notifications will positively impact our daily activities."

To learn about this exciting solution, please join us for an interactive event with lunch on Thursday, April 26th at Flying Fish Brewing Company in Somerdale, NJ at 900 Kennedy Blvd from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.  RSVP with Claudia at 877-652-3060 or [email protected]

About ComTec
ComTec Systems has been delivering technology solutions since 1988 and has evolved into one of the fastest growing and most successful business telecommunications and managed cloud services providers. ComTec Systems has four divisions— ComTec Cloud Services, ComTec Consulting, ComTec USA and ComTec Financial Services. Together they provide clients with the latest technologies to address their essential business needs. More information at https://ComTecCloud.net.

About Sonitrol
Since 1964, Sonitrol Security of Delaware Valley has been the trusted name for providing security to businesses and Educational Facilities in North America, with a combination of human know-how and the latest technology.  We often catch criminals before they gain entry to our customers' facilities.  Sonitrol Security of Delaware Valley provides unique audio intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and fire detection systems, and has assisted in over 176,000 documented apprehensions.  More information at https://sonitrolde.com.

About Cumberland County Technology Education Center

Cumberland County Technology Education Center (CCTEC) is a four-year vocational public high school located in Bridgeton, New Jersey that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from across Cumberland County, New Jersey, operating as part of the Cumberland County Vocational School District.  More information at https://www.cumberland.tec.nj.us

Safety Dynamics, Mantaro and Beeper Complete Deployment for Houston PD With SENTRI II

Mantaro Networks and Beeper Communications deployed Safety Dynamics' portable SENTRI II gunshot detection units for a pilot in Houston, Texas, aimed at evaluating advanced alert and surveillance technologies.

The pilot provided additional security, monitor and alert throughout the three-week Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The show is the world's largest livestock industry event in the world with 2.4 million in attendance this year and 22,000 event volunteers. Throughout the three-week show, there were large daily headline events and concerts, and the Safety Dynamics SENTRI II Gun Shot Detection (GSD) system provided additional security and safety support to Houston PD personnel. All data and video was monitored in real time by the Houston Police Department. The pilot included other vendors, integrators and carriers for the city to evaluate multiple systems for larger city deployments upon conclusion of the rodeo.

SENTRI II is the next generation of gunshot detection systems. The deployment marks another milestone in the advancement of this proven public safety technology by allowing the stand-alone gunshot detection systems to be completely portable using Beeper's advanced wireless SD WAN Cellular Bonding solution, the IE 5000 Multi-WAN Channel Bonder. 

Safety Dynamics is an industry pioneer specializing in gunshot detection, camera and acoustic surveillance and other analytical sensory technology and warning systems. The company leads the industry with the largest single citywide deployment in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2006. The SENTRI solution uses patented acoustic algorithms identifying the precise location with plus/minus ONE degree of accuracy. Alert and notification are delivered directly to the user within less than ONE second of an event. The system immediately geo-locates the event and will plot it on a map, which can be integrated with the user's command center or Network Operations Center (NOC). 

"The addition of the SENTRI II portable version of Safety Dynamics' advanced acoustic surveillance analytical sensory technology with Beeper's communications solution will enable further efficacy and strategic use of the systems for citywide deployments and special events like the Houston Livestock & Rodeo show. We were able to quickly deploy for this 'one-off' event - the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - which occurs annually," said Sally Fernandez, president & CEO, Safety Dynamics Inc.  

Now that the event is over, the police department can continue to leverage the technology and move it to the next desired location in a matter of hours.  Other solutions are typically fixed, requiring much longer setup and calibration times as well as pre-existing network connections, such as costly fiber or coax. 

"The speed and ease of installation of the SENTRI II system are impressive. Basically, it was out of the box and on location. We were up and running and connected to existing infrastructure in a matter of hours. Other solutions can be problematic, requiring many man-hours to deploy," stated Sgt. James Turner, Houston Police Department.

The IE 5000 SD WAN Cellular Bonder is a Comprehensive Communications Device (CCD,) delivering high-capacity wireless broadband connectivity. It essentially provides a "network in a box" that actively and dynamically analyzes and profiles existing cellular (3G, 4G, LTE and so on) networks for capacity and availability. It identifies the four most available channels (regardless of frequency,) aggregates that capacity, then bonds the four channels into one high-capacity Virtual Private Network (VPN) which is securely managed by the user.

The system is fully backwards-compatible, frequency/device agnostic and ideal for the transmission of low-latency (less than one-half second), analog and digital, real-time data and video from the field to the command center anywhere in the world. The system provides un-tethered mobility in the most challenging environments. Additionally, by integrating the SD WAN Cellular Bonder with SENTRI, the system is now highly scalable, as multiple feeds for acoustic, data and video can be daisy-chained through the Bonder, leveraging other existing PD assets. 

"There is a clear and rapidly growing need for GSD and advanced surveillance and analytic solutions as many major cities continue to experience gun violence on an epidemic scale. The flexibility that the portable SENTRI II provides is unprecedented in the industry. Competitive solutions can be prohibitively expensive and can require months of tests and validation, which adds to expense and can strain municipal budgets," said Fernandez. 

"Our new solution, SENTRI II, which we have jointly developed, is rapidly deployable and immediately operational and now can be moved, at will, to the areas most in need of this deterrent technology, saving both time and money," states Moshe Levinson, SVP business development and special situations, Beeper Communications.

Mantaro Networks led the project utilizing their best-in-class engineering services. Mantaro worked closely with all partners from the design and manufacture of the system itself, through the installation in Houston. Mantaro is also developing enhancements to the SENTRI II including automatic testing and monitoring software. This "24/7 Health Check" further improves upon the system's existing maintenance, monitoring and control capabilities. Mantaro sells and supports the Beeper and Safety Dynamics technology in the U.S.

For information about Mantaro:

Jeremy Parsons, CEO
[email protected] 
301-528-2244

Fort Myers Police Department chooses NC4 Street Smart® to help fight crime

EL SEGUNDO, CA – March 29, 2018 – NC4®, a leader in revolutionizing safety and security and an innovator in law enforcement technology, announced today that the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD), with a strength of 206 sworn officers, has chosen NC4 Street Smart® to help in their fight against crime. With the installation of Street Smart, the officers of the FMPD will be equipped with the sophisticated technology and critical resources they need to reduce crime and contribute to the safety of the community.

The FMPD protects a population of over 77,000 residents and is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida. Street Smart will help the department provide safety and security to its residents by providing a daily-use crime-fighting solution that arms police officers with critical real- time data, while patrolling their community.

This solution will allow the department to stay apprised of activities and to collaborate using situation- based bulletins, secure blogs, and case management tools that optimize the sharing of crime-related information in order to pinpoint crimes, patterns, and incidents.

“Community partnership is vital to our efforts to reduce and solve crime. We continue to engage community stakeholders and our law enforcement partners in our efforts to reduce crime and to bring justice to victims and their family members,” said Derrick Diggs, Chief of the Fort Myers Police Department. “Our community will benefit from our partnership with NC4 and this technology, when deployed, will give our officers real-time data that is crucial to preventing and solving crime.”

NC4 Street Smart will help the FMPD streamline their efforts across the department by providing officers with continuously updated crime maps, bulletins, and the ability to share relevant information quickly, maximizing policing effectiveness. This will help lead to more accurate and timely arrests and increased safety for officers and citizens. The cities that have been using Street Smart report double-digit reductions in crime and decreases from the time of an incident to the time of arrest.

“We are excited that another agency in Florida will be using Street Smart to fight crime,” said Rob Wolf, Vice President, NC4 Public Safety. “This solution will help officers in Fort Myers provide more effective and efficient law enforcement services to its residents.”

About NC4

NC4 delivers safety and security solutions for both business and government organizations. We revolutionize how organizations and communities collect, manage, share and disseminate information to reduce cyber threats, fight crime, mitigate risks, and manage incidents. NC4 also provides cyber threat sharing solutions both through secure collaboration services and recently (via Soltra Edge), through automated, structured, and standardized (STIX/TAXII) mechanisms.

NC4 solutions are used by private sector companies involved in financial services, high-tech, insurance, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, as well as other industries. In the public sector, NC4 solutions are used by federal, state and local agencies in homeland security, emergency management, and law enforcement disciplines.

NC4 takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to safety and security by providing: cyber threat exchanges that drive the development of a sharing culture and circles of trust; global security and travel intelligence, analysis, traveler tracking, and relevant real time threat alerting to mitigate enterprise risks and a common operating picture for fighting crime and managing emergencies.

For information about NC4, visit www.NC4.com or call toll-free, 1-877-624-4999. ###

FCC Seeks Comment on Multimedia Content in Wireless Emergency Alerts

By this Public Notice, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) invites interested parties to update the record on the feasibility of including multimedia content in Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages.

Currently, the Commission’s rules do not specify technical requirements for enabling multimedia content in WEA alert messages. In the 2016 WEA Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WEA R&O and FNPRM), the Commission recognized that additional standards development remains necessary. Accordingly, the Commission sought comment regarding the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework and timeframe for incorporating multimedia capability into WEA alert messages. Numerous stakeholders responded to that request.

Since the release of the WEA R&O and FNPRM, the Commission has taken measures to strengthen WEA as a tool for emergency managers to communicate with the public. For example, the Commission revised its rules to ensure that emergency managers can geographically target alerts to only those phones located in areas affected by an emergency. When the WEA program launched in 2012, Participating Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) Providers were generally required to send alerts to a geographic area no larger than the county or counties affected by the emergency situation. As of November 1, 2017, all Participating CMS Providers must transmit alerts to a geographic area that “best approximates” the area affected by the emergency situation, and by November 30, 2019, all Participating CMS Providers must match the target area of the alert. In addition to improving the accuracy with which WEA messages must be geo-targeted, the Commission has taken action to improve emergency managers’ ability to deliver more effective content in WEA messages. For example, as of November 1, 2017, nationwide Participating CMS Providers must support the inclusion of embedded references (i.e., URLs and phone numbers) in WEA messages. By May 1, 2019, Participating CMS Providers also must support longer WEA alerts (with the maximum Alert Message length increasing from 90 to 360 characters for 4G LTE and future networks) and the transmission of Spanish-language alert messages. Also as of May 1, 2019, authorized State and local alert initiators will be able to conduct “end-to-end” WEA tests that can be received by members of their communities, in order to assess how WEA is working within their jurisdictions.
The Commission continues to consider the WEA FNPRM’s proposal regarding multimedia alerting, and the Bureau requests that interested commenters refresh the record with any new information or arguments. Commenters should address the technical feasibility for requiring multimedia content in WEA messages, including the current state of multimedia testing and standards development. Commenters should also address with particularity the potential costs and benefits to public safety and Participating CMS Providers for supporting the inclusion of multimedia content in WEA messages, given the other changes to WEA that are currently ongoing.

Link to Public Notice: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-comment-multimedia-content-wireless-emergency-alerts

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