Twitter Facebook Google RSS
Homeland Security News 

System Gives Nationwide, Real-Time Security Threat Updates 

12  2,012 

By Stew Magnuson 

It has been a long time coming, one official said, but the Department of Homeland Security has finally established its “common operating picture” — software that gives state and local police, and other authorized organizations the ability to see the latest security threats on one computer screen.

Law enforcement agencies — whether they are federal or local — as well as concerned federal entities including the White House, see icons representing various threats pop up on a map of the United States. If they are interested, they can double-click on it to receive a detailed report, said Richard. M. Chavez, director of operations coordination and planning at DHS.

“It is more of a push system than a pull. If you are interested in what is going on you can click on it without having to call each organization to find what is going on. It collects all that data and puts it right there,” he said at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C.

The goal of having a one-stop common operating picture coordinated at the DHS’ Washington headquarters was being worked on more or less since the establishment of DHS in 2002.

“The common operating picture eluded us for a long time,” Chavez said. “We had IT issues. We had data sharing issues that were out there.” Coordinators had to ensure they were not compromising ongoing investigations, and there were the familiar issues of different agencies that were unwilling to share their data, he said.

The system went online in July, he said.

In a live demonstration during a recent police chiefs’ conference, one audience member was surprised to see an icon pop up over his city as Chavez was showing off the system. It turned out a suspect carrying a large quantity of hand grenades was believed to be transiting through his jurisdiction. A minute or two later, his lieutenants back at his hometown were calling him after seeing the same icon.

Meanwhile, DHS is working on a global security plan to look at more efficient ways to coordinate the efforts of the department components that have overseas presences.

The plan will look at how to reduce duplication of effort. How do the component efforts all fit together? How does one support the other? Chavez said.

“How do we retain the appropriate level of redundancy because redundancy is not always a bad thing. You do need it sometimes,” he said.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto
Submit Your Reader's Comment Below
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.
*Legal Notice

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

  Bookmark and Share