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Results - Topic: Homeland Security

091101

The date was supposed to be our celebration, our moment to recognize to the efforts of 9-1-1 and emergency dispatchers across our nation. Instead, it became a day of incomprehensible horror. Most of us, if we weren't in the epicenter of the events, watched our TV screens with growing incredulity as those awful images engraved themselves with bloody clarity permanently upon our collective psyche.

091201+

For many, those events, especially those in Manhattan, seemed insurmountable, incredulous, impossible to respond to with any means other than chaos. But there was order in the midst of calamity, an appropriate response was mounted and managed, and diverse responders from many disciplines came together to aid each other. In this issue we focus on the days that followed, examining the aftermath and recovery that followed the dreadful hours of that unforgettable day.

5 Years Later: Ground Zero, Grants, & Great Intentions

The attacks and subsequent loss of responders helped to once again elevate the public's respect of the entire Fire Service. But with great respect comes great responsibility and five years later some agencies have found that the greater the height, the greater the fall as the "mileage" gained after 9/11 has come back to haunt them in many ways never imagined.

A New Twist in Community Emergency Response Teams: Citizens as "Immediate First Responders"

When a disaster occurs, the government becomes quickly over-burdened with requests to handle simple emergencies - emergencies that every one of us should be able to handle on your own... Neighborhood Preparedness Solutions has launched a complete and thorough online source of information dedicated to the Immediate Responders' individual efforts. The goal is to encourage participation throughout community neighborhoods as well as to gain the cooperation within local government.

Apr 19th & Sept 11th: What have we learned?

It has been ten years since the worst terrorist attack on the United States. It has been sixteen years since the worst Domestic Terrorist attack in Oklahoma City. These two incidents have taught us many lessons. The problem is we have a short memory and are already forgetting the lessons we learned on those days. It is your job, your responsibility to remember and god forbid if your jurisdiction is every attacked you will be ready to respond. Another key element to remember is these...

Breaking the Law of Unintended Consequences

...it may be high time that we in policing explore this theory with a view to enhancing our decision-making processes. Can we couple this law with our intelligence led strategies to discover if (and then how) the 75 year old theory of Theory of Unanticipated Consequences can be reconciled with Intelligence Led policing practices? In today's world of limited options and resources, we must wring out every ounce of prospective benefit from every choice we make. This might be just the right time...

Chicago's Roosevelt University Enrolls In RealView's All-Digital First Responder Technology

One of Chicago's most historic buildings is being electronically pre-planned as Roosevelt University, located in the South Loop, implements RealView LLC's CommandScope technology across its campus. The Auditorium Building and Auditorium Theatre are nationally-designated landmarks and two of five buildings whose data is being entered into the program that provides first responders critical property and occupant information both en route and onsite.

Community Policing In The Age Of Homeland Security

Having recently heard about an example of law enforcement bullying in one of our Airports, our Perspective columnist John C. Fine was prompted to share his concerns and cautions in his latest observation, in which the keepers of homeland security make us feel actually less secure.

Data Integration is a Necessary Building Block for Sound Analytical, Threat Assessment Capabilities

In the aftermath of 9/11, many law enforcement agencies sought to establish new data repositories to capture information, such as Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR, also known as Tips & Leads), Organized Crime Intelligence, Counter-terrorism Intelligence, and even Web-based and electronic document open-source data. Quite a few agencies, perhaps a result of the growth of Fusion Centers, are now interested in setting up information management systems that can mine existing data repositories...

DHS Science & Technology Directorate Names Former First Responder & Emergency Comms Mgr as Deputy Under Secretary

Dr. Reginald Brothers, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology, announced last Friday the appointment of Dr. Robert Griffin as the Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Deputy Under Secretary... Prior to his federal service, Griffin served as the first director of the Arlington County (VA) Office of Emergency Management, where he developed a cross-functional department consisting of emergency management, law enforcement, fire/rescue, public health,...

Eleven Years After, the Bell Still Tolls

For those of us in the 9-1-1 business, professionals in the realm of public safety communications, September 11th has a very unique ring. It tolls with the low, baritone gong of the funeral procession, since so many of our brothers and sisters in the first responder community perished as a result of those heinous acts of warfare against our country and our way of life. We, who have dedicated ourselves or at least entered into a profession whereby our mission is to help people during...

Emergency Communicators: Stay One Step Ahead in Preparedness

One of the most important things for emergency telecommunicators to do is to truly understand their jurisdiction and what critical infrastructure, symbolic targets, and other unique features exist and how the loss or disruption of those facilities or events will impact emergency responders and the community. Understanding community threats prior to an emergency is critical to not just the success of the response, but also the life safety of the occupants and emergency responders.

Emergency Preparedness Library on CD-ROM

Preparedness is a watchword these days. Many different government web sites provide valuable information but none provide the comprehensive collection of materials like the Urban Survival Library. This CD contains more than 100 Acrobat and multimedia files - official government information covering the following topics...

EMS Response to the WTC Disaster

All the agencies involved in the September 11th incident faced their own sets of challenges when they responded. It was more like operating in a war zone than in a civil disaster. One of the most daunting tasks was to bring out the wounded while the attack continued to unfold.

Exodus to New Jersey: Triage and Treatment on the New Jersey Shore

In the Borough of Highlands, a close-knit clamming town with a harbor on Sandy Hook Bay, Lieutenant Edward Chambers was watching the horror unfold on a television set in headquarters. As media coverage brought terror into homes and offices throughout the world, Highlands Police received a phone call from the SeaStreak Ferry as it traversed the harbor between New York and New Jersey. The SeaStreak official informed the police that they were carrying nearly 400 injured people from Manhattan.

FBI Connects the Dots By Integrating FB's New eGuardian Technology With Memex Patriarch

The Memex Solutions Team at SAS has integrated its Patriarch Intelligence Management Platform with the FBI's eGuardian system for automating the distribution of tips and leads, or Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), related to counterterrorism. Memex Patriarch users can now submit SARs directly to eGuardian from the Patriarch platform without the need to re-enter information. This provides a more efficient process for the collection and evaluation of suspicious activities in support of...

FDNY Communications: One Year Later

As we approach the first anniversary of the day that forever changed our lives, the FDNY still is in a world of hurt. Well documented are the experiences of the firefighters and chiefs on duty that day. Not so well documented is what has happened to us inside the communications office, and inside our minds.

Fear Itself

From our May 2005 issue: As dispatchers, we are merchants of fear - not that we vend it like some ghoulish retailer on a shadowy corner of Diagon Alley - but that we confront it hourly in the manner of many of our callers, those whose lives have reached some terrifying consequence requiring the aid of police, fire, or medics... But now, with the very real potentiality of terrorist events in our neighborhoods, an even more potent fear of the unknown is taking root, encouraging many more...

Fort Worth EOC Deploys WebEOC for 2011 Super Bowl and Ice Event

The city of Fort Worth, Texas, the 17th largest city in the United States, purchased, configured, trained and successfully deployed WebEOC emergency management software from ESi in three-and-a-half months, just in time for the 2011 Super Bowl and an unexpected snow and ice storm in the days leading up to the big event. On January 30, only a week prior to "Super Week," the city also opened the doors to a brand-new emergency operations center.

Four Days at Ground Zero: Volunteering at the WTC

Kevin and I had met years ago as volunteers with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. He's a crew-cut police sergeant from Malden. I'm a retired special agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Amtrak conductor, overhearing our conversation about volunteering in the search and rescue at the scene of the World Trade Center disaster, told us that he was proud of us.

From 9/11 to 9-1-1: What the Death of Bin Laden Means to Us

Late on the evening of Sunday, May 1, President Barack Obama announced to the world that Osama Bin Laden was dead; ending a decade long search for what many believed to be the poster child for terrorism... So now that the dust from the chopper blades has cleared the compound, and we have a clear view, just what does all of this mean to public safety? Unfortunately, a clear view doesn't mean a clear answer.

Grounded: Fire, medical aircraft impacted by Sept 11th Sky Closure

Federal authorities immobilized the US air traffic system for the first time in history on September 11 after the hijacking of four planes and subsequent suicide crashes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.... The NIFC jet out of Boise was one of the first non-military and non-medical aircraft allowed to fly. Its crew transported three national incident management teams - people who usually handle wildland fire - back to assist with the aftermath.

Home On The Range: Are Effective Changes In Place To Prevent Terrorism On America's Homefront?

Five Years Later: What has happened since September 11, 2001 to instill confidence in homeland security for America? Cosmetic changes, visible security enhancements in certain places, and booming business for government bureaucracy. It is still the same bureaucracy that left civilian targets vulnerable to terrorist attacks in the first place, according to Congressional investigators.

Homeland Security in America: Past, Present, and Future

Since 9/11, our nation has seen the initiation and implementation or two national warning systems, the most recent of which was launched in April of last year. We’ve also seen the emergence of several emergency and disaster related citizen support groups, designed to serve law enforcement agencies and first responders at all levels of government - city, county, state, and federal. Furthermore, we’ve seen critical information being placed on government websites for public officials, first...

Homeland Security: Value of Suspicious Activity Reports Dependent on Technology

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) could be one of the most promising data sources for effective threat analysis in the coming years, and under the NSI program (National SAR Initiative), law enforcement agencies can submit local reports for analysis by participating agencies as well as compare their local reports to the broader database to find matches and vet threats for their regions. This kind of reporting and analysis is key to identifying people like those who, prior to 9/11, were...

How 9/11 Has Changed Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis

As the nation struggled to understand how something like 9/11 could occur on American soil, information came to light about breakdowns in information sharing between law enforcement agencies that might have helped prevent it. Predictably, there was a heated outcry to fix those breakdowns in order to protect our citizens from similar threats in the future... So, what has been done since those dark days to improve information sharing and law enforcement intelligence analysis? Actually, quite a...

How Emerging Technology Can Augment Urban Search and Rescue Communications

United States Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) teams are among the best and most highly-trained in the world. But often the success and failure of operations is dictated not by training or ability, but rather by the equipment at a team’s disposal ... In the critical search phase of the operation, technologies designed to locate trapped persons have proven frustratingly ineffective, and the extent of a team leader’s ability to communicate locations and information is often simply imprecise verbal...

Impressions of Hell: A First Hand Report from the WTC

Initially, there seemed to be a lot of disorganization for the first several days as the leadership scrambled to keep up with the volunteers who showed up and the teams that were deployed to help out. Most teams though, especially the FEMA ones, were well organized among themselves and were capable of running autonomously even if little or no input from higher up was forthcomming

Information Sharing: Field Officers & Dispatch is Key to Fusion Center Success

Information needs to be collected and routed through the intelligence chain to achieve success...The details that dispatchers, first responders, and emergency communication staff encounter can be critical to the genesis of good intelligence. Their insights can make all the difference when it comes to deciding if something is amiss and escalating that information or hunch to the appropriate levels.

Internal Politics: Lessons Learned on The Pile

You've all seen the pictures on television, in newspapers, or in other media, all showing the devastation of what was once called the World Trade Center. What you haven't heard about was the relationship between the New York rescuers and the teams sent from throughout the country to help perform Search and Rescue operations at Ground Zero... What are some of the lessons we learned there, that we could make use of in our own agencies?

K9's Get A Lift in Coast Guard Shipboard Training

The hoist up the WW2 Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien is part of the dogs' ongoing training program designed to expose them to all of the fields they could be potentially called to serve in. They are both bomb-sniffing dogs, and typically search for explosive material on ferries and in warehouses and port facilities. Their training, however, sometimes requires them to be transported to assets that they are not naturally comfortable with, such as airplanes or moving boats.

LASD Announces Innovative Eyewitness Video Platform to Revolutionize Responses to Terrorism, Large Scale Criminal Events & Disasters

SENDUS and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept (LASD) have announced LEEDIR, a new technology platform that will change the way law enforcement agencies respond to large scale criminal events and terrorists events. This new technology would have been ideal during the kind of active-shooting event that happened at LAX on Nov 1st, to understand how the shooting happened through eyewitness videos and to expedite collaborative analysis of the situation.

LEAPS-TV: Suspicious Activity Reporting Line Officer Training

New from the Law Enforcement And Public Safety Network, the Suspicious Activity Reporting system is a tool in the fight against terrorism for all local, county, tribal, state, Federal and military law enforcement officers. A tuition-free, 19 minute, DOJ/BJA-sponsored program is available online now. At the end of the no cost program a test and certificate for 1/3 CEU are available...

Life After 9/11

While the general public beheld the unfolding events at the Pentagon and World Trade Center as tragic, those of us in public safety saw an even more disturbing picture. Most, if not all, of us immediately recognized the magnitude of these losses from our particularly parochial viewpoint... So, what have we learned from all of this? How are we as a nation and as a profession different now? How do we view life after 9/11?

Memex Solutions Team At SAS And FBI Connect The Dots for Information Sharing

The Memex Solutions Team at SAS has integrated its Patriarch Intelligence Management Platform with the FBI’s eGuardian system for automating the distribution of tips and leads, or Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), related to counterterrorism

Middletown Township Comm Van Supports EMS Response

As the EMS community in Monmouth County (NJ) prepared to receive the casualties evacuating from New York City in the wake of the World Trade Center attack, the Field Comm unit from Middletown was requested to support the operation. As Field Comm Captain, I would deploy the unit, a 35-foot truck, built by Lynch Diversified Vehicles and purchased several years ago as a joint effort of the police and fire departments, and the city Office of Emergency Management. I

National Park Public Safety: GETTYSBURG PARK WATCH VOLUNTEERS HONORED

Gettysburg National Military Park, Park Watch Volunteers were honored at a dinner held during the 147th battle commemorative activities on July 3, 2010. The dinner was hosted by Terrie and Jeff Ferguson and their Feed Bag Catering Company. The dinner was attended by park rangers and officials.

National Preparedness Survey Released

A group of national public safety associations has released the results of a national survey completed by more than 1,000 first responders, emergency managers, public health officials and others on the front lines of emergency preparedness and response.

Nebraska Fusion Center Adds Suspicious Activity Reporting Via Memex

The Memex Solutions Team at SAS, a leading provider of intelligence management, data integration, search and analysis solutions, has announced that the State of Nebraska's law enforcement fusion center, the Nebraska Information Analysis Center (NIAC), has unveiled a public-facing Web site for collection of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from the general public. The automated Web site delivers these time-sensitive tips and leads to the Memex software platform to help law enforcement...

New York City Holiday Security - Are We Safe In Crowds?

It took the New York City Fire Department Ambulance three traffic lights to get across Times Square from a major cross street. The surrounding area was packed with police officers. Some on foot in pairs, some standing outside patrol cars, some on horseback. None moved into the street to direct traffic against the light to make the ambulance's passage easier. The conclusion: the police officers didn't leave their posts. That can be a good thing but does standing around or sitting a horse...

NYC 9-1-1: The Eye Of The Storm

I arrived at the center approximately five minutes after the first plane had struck and at that point there was little credible information regarding the size of the plane or damage estimates from the scene. No matter, our personnel had already sprung into action putting our major incident plan into effect. Administrative and training personnel not normally involved in call taking operations were already on the floor...

One Year Later

The world changed in a profound way on September 11th. We were victimized, in a terrible, unimaginable and, for those of us in public safety, in a very personal way. Even a year later, each of us can certainly remember in vivid detail our activities, our thoughts, our feelings on that terrible Tuesday morning.

Perspective: Homeland Corruption

Michael McCaul, the U.S. Representative from Texas and Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management, revealed that that since 2004 130 U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been arrested on charges that have included drug smuggling, money laundering and smuggling.

Perspective: Out-Of-Control Border Patrol?

How do democratic nations deal with terrorism, perceived and real? Actually, the same way a dictatorship does. Freedoms are suspended and civil rights diminished. Martial law can be imposed, free press suspended and false propaganda issued. There is money in war. History has proved that greed instigated more than one world conflict.

Perspective: Terrorism And Terrorists

Controlling a population through terror dates from the first human societies. Fear of terrorists has caused our free society, through elected officials, to circumvent civil rights. Lawsuits have been instituted that reveal electronic espionage on innocent U.S. citizens by government intelligence services. Torture of prisoners interned in offshore compounds, shrouded in secrecy, has been revealed by investigations and Congressional probes. The good have become bad and the bad have won a major...

Public Safety And The EMP Threat

For years many have talked about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse, whether natural occurring or as a result of a nuclear weapon, but recent event have increased concerns about that threat. EMP is the acronym for electromagnetic pulse, a burst of energy that travels through the air that is produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere or possibly non-nuclear -manmade means that may result in widespread damage to all unshielded semiconductor/electronics, power lines,...

Public Safety, 9/11, and Critical Incident Stress

What we once knew as a traumatic event seems to pale in comparison to what thousands learned that day on the streets of New York, on the steps of the Pentagon, in a field in Pennsylvania, and even on the screen of the TV we remained glued to for days, even weeks, after the terrible tragedy that we now refer to as "9/11." Those of us in the trenches, used to responding to critical incidents as part of our job, may feel at a loss for words at this point. All the training in the world could...

Raytheon selects Downey (CA) for its Public Safety Regional Technology Center

Raytheon Company has selected Downey, Calif., as the location for its new Public Safety Regional Technology Center. The company is planning to open the facility in the next three months.Occupying 27,000 square feet and employing up to 150 people, the new center will serve as the focus of Raytheon’s civil communications business in the western United States and provide test and research facilities, training, and maintenance and logistics, customer and systems support.

Reflections from Ground Zero

Since I returned from New York City as a Communications Specialist with California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3, I have been asked many times to explain exactly what the scene at the World Trade Center looked like. I would quickly agree with others that the scenes on the nightly television news reports were only a mere fraction of what we actually witnessed during our two-week deployment.

Rockland County, NY: Public Safety Initiatives for A Secure Future

Public safety has not always kept pace with dramatic changes in technology. Young people with advanced computer skills using inexpensive cell phones and video games seem miles ahead of the average police officer whose analog radios with limited range and interoperability, make it difficult, and at times impossible, to communicate with other agencies let along their own command. This in an era when clandestine federal operations, funded with billions of dollars of taxpayer money, have the most...

September 11th 2011: A Decade of Reflection

In honor of the tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001, 9-1-1 Magazine presents a number of new features and also archival stories from our original coverage in 2001 and subsequent years.

Tennessee DHS Inks Deal With Motorola Solutions

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Tennessee Highway Patrol have announced an agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc., to begin implementing the first phase of a statewide radio system that will enhance the efficiency, safety and service of troopers across the state.

Terror, Tragedy And Turmoil: Reflections on Terrorism

From the terrorist standpoint, attacks on civilian targets like the World Trade Center are political acts. Perpetrators are heroes, martyrs in their own society, perhaps even heroes among elements of American society. In their twisted reckoning, they are paid lobbyists. While their stated enemy counterparts lobby US politicians with cash and favors, the terrorist is paid with salvation. Hate is wrong in any society. Religious fervor is evil when manipulated by ungodly men.

Terrorism And Urban Search And Rescue

FEMA sponsors 28 national urban search-and-rescue (US&R) task force teams, comprised of fire-rescue specialists, structural engineers, medical professionals, logistical and communications specialists, canine disaster search teams, and incident support managers, ready to serve as a national resource for disaster rescue response nationwide. "As soon as it became obvious that we were facing a major terrorist event, we knew we were going to have structural collapse responses," said Dave Webb,...

Terrorism Preparedness: PSAPs Get Ready for the Future

"We need to ask questions and get a good understanding of what the (situation) is," said Hollman. "Each caller is different, some may be aware of something unusual and some may be very hysterical. But the basics are still the where's and what's. That's what a dispatcher needs to find out."

Tunnel Visions: A Public Safety-Oriented Mystery Thriller with Credibility

With his fifth book, Tunnel Visions, Kamm explores the world of homeland security and the very real threat of terrorism. Based on the real Sylmar Tunnel disaster which occurred in Los Angeles in 1971, Kamm has inserted a terrorist angle and come up with a gripping suspense thriller that is both fact-based and fast-paced.

Unknown: In the Shadow of 9/11

There will never be a solution to religious feuding. It is in the makeup of the human psyche. It wouldn’t happen at all if the unknown was known. All of this so far sounds philosophical, something first year students of religion might discuss in college. What much does religion have to do with nations and world affairs? Everything. What does the unknown have to do with religion? Everything.

US Coast Guard Responds to Ground Zero

While thousands of US Coast Guard members remain ready to protect freedom on our nation's waterways, a handful have provided difficult and emotional support tasks in the midst of Ground Zero - what remains of the World Trade Center complex.

US&R Communications at the World Trade Center

The Puget Sound Washington US&R Task Force encountered several communication difficulties during our deployment to the World Trade Center incident. We were deployed at the site from September 19th-29th and spent most of the assignment working in the Church Street Sector or East Branch area of responsibility between WTC Buildings 4 and 5.

Vulnerability Assessments for Public and Private Facilities

From a homeland security standpoint, office, storage, and manufacturing buildings are not typically the subject of a man-made disaster, such as a terrorist attack.

White Papers

Why some Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) can be suspect themselves

Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) has drawn the attention of law enforcement across the nation because of its ability to capture, categorize and catalog important data for analysis of specific patterns of criminal activity as it occurs and during its planning stages. Determining when non-suspect activity becomes suspect activity can be difficult to ascertain, however. For example, tourists in big cities take photos of infrastructure - buildings, roads, tunnels and bridges. They're not...

Workshop to Address Critical Need for Technology to Track First Responders Inside Buildings

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a leader in the development of technology for safeguarding the lives and health of first responders, will host the sixth annual International Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology Aug. 1-2, 2011. Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, the sixth annual workshop will feature live demonstrations of location and tracking technologies and keynote speakers from NASA and Qualcomm.

 
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