Science and Technology News

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year Fireworks Around the World!


Click here to get your own copy from pimp.myYearbook.com!!

Toxic Materials Training Helps Keep Servicemembers Safe



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Samantha M. Stryker
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 29, 2009 - Twelve soldiers and three sailors conducted a 10-day Toxic Industrial Chemical Protection and Detection Equipment training exercise here recently. "You never know what could pop up," said Army Capt. Leann Yi, 17th Fires Brigade Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear officer in charge. "In case of any sort of hazardous material, toxic industrial chemical [leak] from a lab or a chemical manufacturing company in our area of responsibility would require the assistance and expertise of this team."

According to Karen Kirkpatrick, a civilian instructor with the training team, the 80-hour course is the same training received by stateside emergency services personnel.

This type of training usually is provided to military CBRN specialists prior to deployment. However, with the high operational tempo and the limited number of trained CBRN troops, it is sometimes the first time servicemembers receive this training.

Trainees learn to inventory and operate all of the protection and detection equipment. They rehearse the roles each team will play when working in a hazardous material and toxic industrial chemical environment. Trainees first become familiar with operating their protective suits that are equipped with an independent air supply system.

"It was challenging being in the level 'A' suit. You have limited dexterity and limited visibility because of the condensation in the mask," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Blackwood, a CBRN specialist with the 203rd Military Police Battalion.

Less than two days after the completion of training, Yi's team assisted an explosive ordnance disposal unit with the removal of a missile with 500 pounds of explosives from Basra city.

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Samantha M. Stryker serves with the 17TH Fires Brigade public affairs office.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Identity Theft

Jeff Allan is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. After a tour in the United States Marine Corps, he spent the following 11 years as an expatriate in Asia. While in Asia, Jeff honed his skills in the enterprise technology area, becoming an authority on information technology security among other things. During this time he also worked as the director of business development with some of the most recognized global technology giants, including some who like to identify themselves with three letter acronyms. Jeff has spoken professionally about the topics of security technology, organizational security policy, and the future of digital security to government bodies in the United States, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Jeff Allan is the author of Identity Uprising.


According to the book description of Identity Uprising, “Over 350,000 Americans have their identity stolen every year. What would you do if one day you learned that you no longer had control over your own identity? Industry acclaimed expert Jeff Allan shows you proven strategies to both safeguard your identity, and also how to regain control if your identity is stolen.”

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Wishes to You and Yours!

May You and Your Family Have
the Merriest of Christmases!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Sheriff Unveils New Iris Recognition Technology
The Enterprise/CapeNews.net, (12/04/2009), Michael C. Bailey
Through a grant from the National Sheriffs Association, Barnstable and Plymouth counties and the Brockton Police Department, Mass., can now use iris biometrics to catalog inmates, identify suspects and identify missing persons. The iris biometrics system takes high-resolution pictures of the eyes, which are then entered into national inmate, sex offender, child safety and senior safety databases. To identify suspects or missing persons, police officers need only to use the system again to instantly match their irises with those of catalogued inmates, sex offenders, children or senior citizens. According to Joseph D. McDonald, Plymouth County sheriff, the iris is he most biometric feature that visible on the human body. Iris scans are much more reliable than fingerprint scans, which can be obscured or otherwise unusable.
www.capenews.net/communities/region/news/109

Tasers Protect Police and Save Suspects: Study
Reuters Health via ABCNews.com, (12/04/200), Ford Vox, MD
Police departments that begin using less-lethal technologies such as Tasers rather than physical force to apprehend suspects can expect to see rates of injury drop dramatically, according to a new federally backed analysis. A common criticism of Tasers is that police officers use them in situations that don’t merit the use of physical force, thereby increasing the number of injuries sustained. According to John MacDonald, however, a criminologist at the University of Pennsylvania who led the study, If you just do a simple comparison between cases where they use a less lethal weapon and those where they don’t, you get the impression that the weapon causes injury, but police usually resort to Tasers and pepper spray in more dangerous situations where injuries are more likely to occur.
abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=9252499

New Drone to Scour U.S. Coast for Smugglers
Reuters, (12/07/2009)
The new drone, an adapted and unarmed version of the drones flown in Iraq and Afghanistan, will join a fleet of five Predator B drones already patrolling U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. This maritime drone will patrol the Caribbean, Pacific and Gulf coasts for drug smugglers. According to customs spokesman Juan Munoz-Torres, The aircraft . . . gives us the ability to go after the drug traffickers in transit and source zones.
www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B708I20091208

Napolitano Unveils Fiscal 2010 DHS Grants
HS Today, (12/09/2009), Mickey McCarter
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will award more than $2.7 billion in funding for 13 grant programs in FY 2010. The grant programs focus on emergency preparedness, covering issues such as law enforcement activities in border states; mass casualty incident response; community preparedness; mitigation of terrorist attacks; protection of critical infrastructure and transportation; strengthening of all-hazards emergency management; improvement of interoperable communications; construction or renovation of state, local and tribal emergency operations centers; and security enhancement of driver’s licenses. Guidance kits are available online at http://www.fema.gov/grants. Application deadlines range from January 22 to April 19, 2010, depending on the grant program.
www.hstoday.us/content/view/11384/128/

Pushes to End Cop Code
Journal-Courier, (12/08/2009)
A new push is underway to require police officers to use plain language rather than the 10 codes they currently use to communicate with one another and dispatchers. The Federal Emergency Management Administration and, more recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) want to make this change in large part because of the lack of a universal code. In many cases, the meaning behind the codes and the number of codes used differ by agency. Problems with the 10 code system are often exacerbated during major disasters, such as September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, when multiple agencies from different locations respond. Some law enforcement officials, however, believe the codes to be useful. According to Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack, some things seem to come out quicker using the codes rather than plain English. Chris Essid, director of the Office of Emergency Communications for DHS, acknowledges that culture change is never easy.
ww.myjournalcourier.com/news/made-24742-abandoning-push.html

Officials Approve 911 Software Upgrade
The Star Press, (12/10/2009), Rick Yencer
Hoping to improve communication, access and accuracy of information for emergency personnel, Delaware County, Ind., has begun a $1.28 million software upgrade of its computer-aided dispatch. The new system, which should be available for use in 2010, replaces an outdated system that doesn’t map emergency calls or integrate with other systems and uses outdated software. According to Todd Donati, president of the Delaware County commissioners, dispatchers use post-it notes to report road and bridge closings because the current system doesn’t take such entries. The new system will be seamless, Donati said about the changeover.
www.thestarpress.com/article/20091210/NEWS01/912100332/1002/Officials-approve-911-softward-upgrade

Secretary Napolitano Unveils Virtual USA Information-Sharing Initiative
Department of Homeland Security, (12/09/2009)
To help federal, state, local and tribal first responders communicate with each other during emergencies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched Virtual USA. The initiative helps first responders share the location and status of critical assets and information such as power and water lines, flood detectors, helicopter landing sites, emergency vehicle and ambulance locations, weather and traffic conditions, evacuation routes and school and government building floor plans. Our first responders need interoperable tools to make accurate and timely decisions during emergencies, said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Virtual USA makes it possible for new and existing technologies to work together seamlessly during disaster response and recovery and gives the public an opportunity to contribute information in real-time to support the efforts of police officers, firefighters and other emergency management officials.
www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1260375414161.shtm

FBI: 19,000 Matches to Terrorist Screening List in 2009
Wired.com, (12/09/2009), Kim Zetter
Testifying in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the FBIs Timothy Healy, director of the Terrorist Screening Center, stated that law enforcement officials reported 55,000 encounters with suspected terrorists in the last year. Of these encounters, 19,000 were with individuals on the terrorist watchlist. (Some of the 19,000 matches included multiple encounters with the same individuals.) The watchlist, which includes approximately 400,000 individuals, is used to screen visa applicants, gun buyers and suspects stopped by police and to stop some air travelers for extra screening or interrogation.
www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/12/terrorist-watchlist

Prison Population Up, Despite Drop in 20 States
According to U.S. Department of Justice figures, 1.7 million people are in U.S. state and federal prisons, and the number is rising. However, the increase is slower than in the past: last year, the prison population grew less than 1 percent; in the 1990s, the average annual growth rate was 6 percent. In addition, the total number of inmates in 20 states has dropped. According to Ram Cnaan, a professor at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, the slowing growth rate and population drop is due to the cost of prisons: They simply cost too much. This is the first time that we have alliances on the right and left on this issue, and its the money that has forced the issue.
www.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/us/09prison.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=%22prisons%22&st=cse

NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence

Announces a Jan. 26, 2010 Webinar on Land Mobile Radio Basics: Communications 101

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence will host a Webinar on Land Mobile Radio Basics Communications 101 on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Outreach and Technology Assistance Director Charles Stephenson will join Center Director Rick Mulvihill and Program Manager Ed Vea to present an introduction to Land Mobile Radio (LMR) technology for criminal justice professionals. Learn about the terms and the technologies that make radio systems work, along with the various aspects of public safety radio and its role in law enforcement and corrections operations. Join the Center of Excellence to learn about LMR.

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence will host a series of Webinars over the coming months, occurring approximately every eight weeks. You can register for the LMR Basics Communications 101 Webinar by clicking on this link:
www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8001859620/Registration.aspx?PageName=rshw7f928451b2qx

About the Communications Technologies Center of Excellence
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) established the NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence in October 2007 to serve as a specialized technology resource for the 19,000-plus state, localand tribal law enforcement and corrections agencies across the United States. To learn more about the Center of Excellence go to http://www.commtechcoe.org/.

This project is supported by Award No. 2007-IJ-CX-K013 and Supplement One awarded by NIJ. The opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Webinar are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Naval Research Lab Studies Solar Storms

By Bob Freeman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 23, 2009 - Imagine a threat to the global community with the potential to damage communication satellites, interrupt navigation systems, shut down regional power grids, impede oil and gas exploration, expose aircraft crews to high levels of radiation, and endanger the lives of astronauts. That threat exists, but it's not from any well-organized terrorist group. It's from the sun.

"Ultraviolet and X-ray radiation and particle emissions from the sun affect the ionosphere and [the Earth's magnetic field] and can cause lots of problems to space and ground assets," explained Russell Howard, an astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, in a Dec. 21 interview on Pentagon Web Radio's audio webcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military."

Howard was joined in the interview by George Doschek, head of the Naval Research Laboratory's Solar Terrestrial Branch, who explained that the "solar wind," a stream of charged particles and radiation constantly blowing toward the Earth, is intensified by disturbances in the sun's magnetic field, such as sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections.

"All the activity on the sun is produced when the sun's magnetic field is converted into particle emissions and acceleration, and radiation," Doschek said. He explained that the magnetic field of the sun actually stores energy, which is released in bursts when the structure of the field suddenly changes to a configuration that holds less energy.

"When that happens," he said, "we think that the excess energy goes into radiation and accelerating particles."

Howard, who holds a doctorate in chemical physics, said the release of electromagnetic radiation in the form of X-rays, ultraviolet rays, and gamma rays, interacts with the Earth's ionosphere.

"The ionosphere is an electrically charged layer of the Earth's atmosphere," he said. "It's most important, because it reflects radio waves, and that's what allows us to propagate radio waves around the Earth," said Doschek, who holds a doctorate in physics. Radiation affects the ionized particles in the ionosphere, causing them to absorb radio waves, causing communication fade-outs, he explained.

"That's the issue of the satellites themselves," Howard said. "But with ionospheric disturbances, you are also getting an increase in electron density in certain areas, and this can cause failures in GPS." He added that there were about 30 minutes of complete GPS outage in December 2006.

In addition to GPS, Howard noted that the effects of solar storms on communications satellites extend to such things as cell phones, pagers, television, the Internet and streaming video. "Society is becoming increasingly dependent on space-based assets," he commented.

Howard added that strong ionospheric disturbances can also cause ground controllers to lose track of low orbit satellites. "Electromagnetic energy comes in and heats the atmosphere," he said. "When you heat the atmosphere, you get increased density at spacecraft altitude, and that causes an increase in drag, and you can lose track of them."

Solar radiation also can pose a threat to humans. "The radiation can damage astronauts, or if you're flying [in an aircraft] over the polar regions, you have to worry about getting too much radiation from X-rays and ultraviolet radiation," he said.

"The transpolar routes are becoming extremely popular for the airlines," Howard added, "so the crews have to wear radiation dosimeters to measure how much exposure they are getting."

High-energy particles also pose a hazard to anyone working high in the atmosphere or in space, Howard said. "Particles can also be released, and they're coming at fantastic speeds, 500 times that of a bullet, and their combined mass is a million times that of a Nimitz-class carrier," he explained.

"With a coronal mass ejection, you can get a billion tons of matter moving 1 million miles an hour toward the Earth," Doschek added. He noted that coronal mass ejections were first identified by researchers at NRL in 1971.

The solar wind interacts with the Earth's magnetic field, Doschek said. "When solar particles get into the magnetosphere, they're trapped there, and that's when they can do a lot of damage," he noted.

In a large solar storm, the particles also can damage equipment. "You can get energetic particles at hundreds of electron volts of energy, and these can damage electronics in our space assets," Howard said.

"They can cause electrical discharges inside the spacecraft and destroy the circuitry," Doschek added, "and they can cause disruptions in the software and communication links in the satellite until it has to be rebooted."

The solar wind can directly affect people on Earth, as well.

Howard described the impact of the solar wind on the Earth's magnetosphere as a force that puts pressure on the magnetic field. With large solar storms, the pressure intensifies and distorts the shape of the field.

"The magnetosphere, when it gets compressed, induces a current in the Earth's crust," he explained, "and power transmission lines can get a huge amount of back current into transformers that actually burns them up. I've seen pictures of copper straps that are two inches thick that are melted. It's just amazing."

A mass ejection in 1989 shut down the Quebec power grid, which is connected to power grids along the entire East Coast of the United States, Howard said. Quick action on the part of an engineer disconnected the Quebec grid from the other grids. "It was within seconds before it would have taken out the power for the entire northeast part of the U.S.," Howard said.

In addition to the loss of transformers, which cost about $10 million to replace, the disruption of power was estimated to be a loss of $2 billion of gross national product, he said.

These induced currents in the Earth's crust also can affect oil and gas exploration. Howard explained that oil prospecting often is done by trailing a magnetometer behind a ship to look for changes in the magnetic field structure. "A huge oil or gas deposit would be indicated by a change in the field properties," he said, "but if one of these storms comes along, you've completely lost that activity."

While it may not be possible to stop the solar storms, it would be useful to know when they are coming to better prepare for them. To do that, researchers need to have a better understanding of their nature, and NRL has been conducting solar research since 1946, Doschek said.

"We try to understand what is causing the atmosphere to do what it's doing," he said, "which means that we want to understand the mechanisms by which the sun's magnetic field, and the energy within that field, can be converted to particles."

Doschek explained that most solar research needs to be accomplished above the atmosphere, using remote sensing instruments carried on spacecraft.

"We use spectrometers," he said, "to determine the temperature and density, and even the motions within the sun's atmosphere. We have another instrument, called a coronagraph, which blocks out the main radiation from the sun and looks at the outer part of the atmosphere of the corona. With this instrument, we can see hot gases and coronal mass ejections as they come toward the Earth."

Reserachers have made some progress in developing notice of solar activity. "We have instruments that are actually on two NASA spacecraft that are in orbit around the sun, "Howard said. "It's called the STEREO mission. They're looking at the sun and the region between the sun and Earth from two different viewpoints."

Howard explained that these sensors, located more than 100 million miles from Earth, are able to observe solar activity as it happens and more precisely pinpoint the time the charged particles will reach the Earth. But not all solar events send high-pressure streams of dangerous particles towards the Earth.

"Part of our research is to determine the parameters that we need to be studying in order to say whether this will have a powerful impact on Earth or not," he noted.

Another approach to forecasting solar events is with the use of computer modeling. Doschek described three-dimensional numerical simulation models that attempt to portray how changes in the sun's magnetic field get converted into thermal energy based on complex circulations on the sun's surface, and observed phenomena like sunspots.

"The magnetic field is part of a dynamo," he explained, "and when sunspots appear -- these are regions of strong magnetic field -- they get fed into the model and the field moves around the sun."

From these models, the researchers have developed a predictive algorithm for the solar wind. "That works on the basis of how the magnetic field originates on the sun," Doschek said.

Howard acknowledged that the modeling effort is in the infant stages, but noted that the observations and measurements being made by space-based sensors are providing a foundation for improving the models.

"Hopefully, in 10 to 15, maybe 20 years, we'll be much better than we are today," he said.

(Bob Freeman works in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI)for medical simulation.

The United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) is issuing this Request For Information (RFI) in support of the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).

This Request for Information (RFI) seeks information about simulation-based training technologies / systems that are in advanced development with the intent to further advance these systems toward either Department of Defense (DOD) programs of record or commercialization. This information should apply to medical education, training, and/or treatment domains. Information regarding research studies that describe effectiveness of these systems and contributes to their maturity is also sought.

This RFI also seeks information about organizations / consortia with capability and experience in areas related to this information request. This information request may assist the government to develop and refine its need. Information will be reviewed pursuant to consideration for the development of future Requests for Proposals for development of products identified in this RFI.

Information will be accepted during the period of 18 December 2009 through 05 February 2010 at 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

MORE INFORMATION
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=39690d1101fd4e
3631bf791aec0ab553&tab=core&_cview=0&cck=1&au=&ck=

Friday, December 18, 2009

California gets first Block 15 Predators



By Staff Sgt. Paul Duquette
California National Guard

(12/17/09) -- The 163rd Reconnaissance Wing of the California Air National Guard recently received three Block 15 MQ-1 Predators, making it the first ANG unit to receive the brand new aircraft.

The unit took possession of the first aircraft Sept. 29, from an operational testing facility in Grey Butte, Calif. A few months later, the unit received two more Block 15s. It is slated to take possession of at least four more new Predators.

The Block 15 aircraft is the latest from General Atomic's Predator line, which is a reconnaissance unmanned aerial system.

"This new block has an infrared camera in the nose," said Jordan Manns, a General Atomics Airframe and Power Plant mechanic. "Another nice feature it has over the Block 10, the under engine cowling, or cover, can be taken off without the removal of the prop, which is especially nice for maintainers."

The 163 RW uses the high tech system to train active duty, Guard and reserve aircrews at the Flying Training Unit how to pilot and operate the sensor ball, and maintenance personnel how to maintain and repair the aircraft at the field training detachment. Currently, two of the three aircraft are stationed and maintained at Southern California Logistics Airport, while the third is at the field training detachment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crime Mapping

On January 28, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with Michael R. King on Crime Mapping.

Program Date: January 28, 2010
Program Time: 1700 Hours Pacific
Topic: Crime Mapping
Listen Live:
www.americanheroesradio.com/crime_mapping.html

About the Guest
Michael R. King is a National Law Enforcement Account Manager for ESRI, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a worldwide leader of GIS software. He was a Product Planning Manager for Motorola, Inc. from 2004-2006. In 2004, Michael R. King retired from full-time Law Enforcement and has over 28 years of service. He began his law enforcement career in 1979. After 8 years of experience with the Ogden Utah Police Department, Michael R. King became the Chief of Staff for Weber County Attorney, Reed M. Richards. He served in that capacity and as lead investigator for 8 years.

In 1993,
Michael R. King became an investigator with the Utah Attorney General’s Office where he investigated sexual offenses, cult activity and white-collar crimes. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and eventually promoted to Chief of Staff under Attorney General Jan Graham. During this time, King was trained as a criminal profiler through the FBI. He served as the co-chair of the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program National Board. Michael R. King has consulted on hundreds of complex criminal cases around the world.

Michael R. King has a Master of Criminal Justice Degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He is an adjunct faculty member for the school of Criminal Justice at Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University. He is a member of the Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law (2003-present) and is a Visiting Scholar for the School of Nursing at Boston College (2005-present).

Mike has authored, in part or whole, a number of books, including: Analyzing Criminal Behavior; Cold Case Methodology; and, Predators: Who They are and How to Stop Them.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in
Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Federal-State Cybersecurity Partnership

December 15, 2009: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm today announced a first-of-its-kind federal-state cybersecurity partnership—deploying the federally-developed cybersecurity technology EINSTEIN 1 to Michigan’s cyber networks.

“Effective cybersecurity is a shared responsibility between the federal government and our state, local and tribal partners to protect our cyber networks from terrorism and other intrusions,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This first of its kind federal-state partnership will not only enhance our capabilities to defend Michigan from cyber threats, it will also strengthen our ability to protect networks and cyber assets nationwide.”

“This proof of concept will benefit Michigan’s cybersecurity interests by further enhancing its ability to identify and resolve a greater range of threats to its cyber infrastructure in coordination with a broad range of federal government entities,” explained Governor Granholm. “It will enable greater federal and state coordination to promote mutual cybersecurity interests and, if successful, will inform the efforts of state governments to enhance their own cybersecurity efforts.”

EINSTEIN 1 technology automates the collection and analysis of computer network security information from participating agency and government networks to help analysts identify and combat malicious cyber activity that may threaten government network systems, data protection, and communications infrastructure.

As part of the partnership with Michigan, DHS’ U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) will identify possible abnormal activities on Michigan’s networks and address threats to critical cyber infrastructure—strengthening defenses against cyber attacks and the overall resiliency of Michigan’s networks and cyber resources.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Communication and Public Health Emergencies: A Guide for Law Enforcement

This report is one in a series of three documents created by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), on the law enforcement response to public health emergencies. This report identifies the considerations that law enforcement executives should address in their public health communications plans, regarding internal communications (those that remain within the law enforcement agency) as well as external communications (those that go to other agencies or the public).

Read on
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/pdf/PERF_Emer_Comm.pdf

JUSTNET Media Gallery: Watch and Learn

JUSTNET has a new video feature to keep the criminal justice community current on National Institute of Justice technology developments, issues and services. NLECTC Minutes are brief educational online videos that highlight recent technology advances and issues of interest to law enforcement and corrections practitioners. The videos, which are a few minutes long, will touch on a variety of topics. Some could relate to practitioner needs and requirements; others could highlight technology information gathered from NIJ technology institutes for law enforcement and corrections. Each video series will highlight a technology area. The current series spotlights body armor, discussing how body armor works, NIJ Standard-0101.06 and its effect on the law enforcement community, and the differences between stab-resistant and ballistic-resistant armor. Topics planned for future videos include technology developed under NIJ’s Aviation Technology Program.

Watch the Videoes
http://www.justnet.org/Pages/MediaGallery.aspx

Walter Reed Patients Test Next-generation Prosthesis

By Christen N. McCluney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - Wounded warriors at the Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here are testing a new microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee. The X2 microprocessor knee by Otto Bock HealthCare is the result of a medical research project funded in support of the Military Amputee Research Program. This project, administered by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, had the goal of developing "an electronically controlled prosthetic knee joint that meets the specific demands of military staff in real world activity," said Troy Turner, Advanced Technology Research Program manager at TATRC.

He added that in 2005, officials recognized that even the cutting-edge prosthetic devices weren't good enough.

"Otto Bock had the C-Leg," he said. "It was the best that was available, but not the best needed." Soldiers needed a prosthetic knee with a longer battery life that would enable them to walk and run backward and forward and go up stairs foot over foot.

Otto Bock developed a proposal that later was funded and has developed a new knee that has more durability and functionality, extended battery life, remote-control functions and can handle higher weight loads.

Adele Levine, a physical therapist at the center, said many patients were dealing with knee and joint pain with the C-leg, and saw relief almost immediately once they began wearing the new X2.

"Once I got the confidence to trust the leg that it would do what it was supposed to do, I almost got immediate relief," said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson, one of the three patients at Walter Reed testing out the microprocessor knee. "No knee pain [or] hip pain. Everything evened out."

The leg enables him to stand in any position and rest on the amputated side, relieving pressure on his intact leg, he said. He also can run again without having to switch to another leg.

"With the old C-Leg, you can't run," he said. "Now, it's as simple as getting a remote and putting it in running mode and going. As fast as you can go, the leg will keep up with you."

Army Staff Sgt. Alfredo De los Santos has been using the new X2 microprocessor for a little more than two weeks. "Ever since I got this leg, it's been heaven," he said. "I went to Busch Gardens. I walked all day long. I only take it off when I go to sleep at night."

De los Santos, who works out two or three times a day and recently participated in the Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon using a hand-crank chair, said that before using the X2 he occasionally would use canes to alleviate some of the back pain he was having because he enjoys being active. "Now, I can jump and mostly do everything," he said.

Levine said that with the X2 De los Santos has alleviated a lot of his previous concerns about the pressure he was putting on his intact side and his concerns with quality of living.

"He is so much happier. He tells us this at least 20 times a day," she said. "He's always concerned about the future and his condition in 20 years; this gives him a lot of hope."

The knees are currently being fitted on 30 wounded warriors at Walter Reed and at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and are expected to be widely available in 2011.

"It's what you make out of it," De los Santos said when asked about his hope with the X2. "If you can do this, you can do anything. You can accomplish anything, and you have to make the decision to make it work."

(Christen N. McCluney works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Boston's Big Sniff

Science and Technology (S&T) Snapshots

Since ancient times, airborne chemical and biological weapons have been used to threaten populations. During sieges throughout history, human and animal corpses were used in attempt to spread plague and cholera. In the First World War, chlorine and mustard gas killed hundreds of thousands.

More recently, the chem-bio threat has gone—literally—underground. In 1993, during the World Trade Center truck bombing, a canister of hydrogen cyanide was placed in the truck in the hope that the poison gas would be blasted up the ventilation system. Two years later, Japanese cult members opened canisters of sarin in the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and leaving thousands in need of medical attention.

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is charged with leading Federal efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a domestic attack. Secretary Napolitano has emphasized preparedness and shared responsibility when it comes to protecting the nation's critical infrastructure.

One vitally important aspect of preparation is for public safety officials to understand how gases might behave in different scenarios—such as when released in the underground subway system of a large American city. The incapacitation or destruction of a major transportation system could debilitate the overall stability of the United States and threaten national security.

That's why on December 5, the Department's Science & Technology Directorate began releasing plumes of sulfur hexafluoride and perfluorocarbon gas, and sodium fluorescein particles in the tunnels of Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) subway system.

Yes, you read that right.

But not to worry. "Both gases are innocuous, non-toxic, and inert," says Teresa Lustig, a program manager in S&T's Chemical & Biological Division, who is leading the study. "They've been used since the 1960s in dispersion experiments, and pose no health risk."

Throughout the seven day S&T study, particle and gas concentrations are being sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars in the underground portion of the MBTA system. Commuters may notice the presence of equipment and researchers, but the study is designed not to disrupt normal activities or inconvenience the public.

Some of these non-toxic gases have been used in similar studies and others even have common, everyday uses. Sulfur hexafluoride is a harmless, common tracer gas used for indoor and outdoor air testing. Perfluorocarbons are used during eye surgery to temporarily replace the vitreous humor when a retina is being reattached. Sodium fluorescein is an organic dye used in medical imaging applications and in oceanography as a marker in seawater.

A similar subway system airflow study was conducted in 2008 in the Washington, DC area, and serves as an excellent contrast to the Boston study. Whereas the MBTA subway system is very old and poorly ventilated, Washington's is relatively modern and well-ventilated.

Data obtained from these initial groundbreaking studies have been critical to the development of specifications for the next generation of biological agent detectors, and for designing response strategies for both biological and chemical detection systems.

The research team included scientists from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) of Argonne, Ill.; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) of Berkeley, Calif.; ICx Technologies of Arlington, Va.; Defense Science and Technology Laboratory of the United Kingdom; and Chemistry Centre of Australia.

Here's how the study worked:
The particle tracers, embedded in an aerosol spray, were released at the same time as the gases so that researchers could compare which form of agent—aerosol or gas—travels further, faster, or more unpredictably. The gaseous and aerosol tracers are complementary—dispersing and sinking at different rates and in different patterns—allowing removal mechanisms such as deposition and filtration to be measured in addition to the transport and dispersion processes. The gaseous tracers, like the chemical agents they simulate, provide baseline data for the transport and dispersion processes because they pass through filters and are transported much further. The two gases weigh about the same as air, which means they remain airborne indefinitely and can be measured in the air for a much longer period of time. The aerosol particles deposit on surfaces and the ground after a short period.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Respirator Trusted-Source Information Page

This information may be regarded as a trusted source to verify which respirators are approved by NIOSH, how to get them and how to use them. This web page is currently under development, and therefore not all areas are functional at this time. We hope that you visit us frequently to use the new capabilities as they become available. The web page will include content to address each of 3 sections of information as follows:

Section 1: NIOSH-Approved Respirators: What are they, How can they be identified, Where can I get them?

Section 2: Use of NIOSH Respirators: Information on how to implement the use of respirators in the Workplace and use them appropriately.

Section 3: Ancillary Respirator Information: Commonly asked Questions and Answers (Fact Sheets), Respirator Myths, Science of Respirator Function and Performance, Respiratory Protective Devices Not Approved by NIOSH.

Visit the website
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/RespSource.html

Public Safety Technology in the News

Anti-Crowding Measures Save Metro Jail $1.2 million
Courier-Journal, (12/01/2009), Jessie Halladay

Steps taken by officials in Louisville, Ky., to reduce crowding in the Metro Corrections jail have translated into a $1.2 million savings for the city. In 2008, a commission comprising judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and members of the community issued 37 recommendations to improve conditions and reduce crowding. As of December 2009, jail director Mike Bolton said 25 of the recommendations have been implemented or are in progress. Plans include a day-reporting program, under which the jail will oversee offenders not housed in the jail. The cost of housing an inmate at the jail is $64 a day, compared with $24 a day to monitor the person in the community. The jail has also worked with the Kentucky Department of Corrections to expedite the transfer of jail inmates to state prisons. The result is that a 126-bed facility at the metro police headquarters has been vacant for a year, saving. $1.2 million. The program’s initial costs are being paid for with a $500,000 feder! al grant. The department also is implementing an electronic bond payment system to allow suspects to post their own bond with a credit card at a jail kiosk or family members to post bond online. The department will also be testing a GPS monitoring system.
www.courier-journal.com/article/20091201/NEWS01/912010350/Anti-crowding+measures+save+metro+jail+$1.2+million

State to Let Cops Use Stun Guns, With Limits, Joining Rest of U.S.
NorthJersey.com (11/24/2009), Karen Sudol and William Lamb

New Jersey is the latest, and last, state to allow law enforcement officers to use stun guns. The state’s policy restricts when officers can use the devices. The policy allows trained police officers to use the weapons only against emotionally disturbed individuals who are armed and refuse to surrender. Other restrictions include prohibiting the use against people who refuse to comply with an officer’s order to move, drop to the ground or exit a vehicle. New Jersey officers also can’t use stun guns on people who are handcuffed or in moving vehicles. Also, before using a stun gun on a person on an elevated surface, officers would have to make an effort to prevent or minimize injury. The number of stun guns distributed will be based on the size of a city’s or town’s police department.
www.northjersey.com/news/72196417.html

U.S., Canada Will Share Refugee Fingerprints
CBC News (11/24/2009)

The United States has agreed to share fingerprints with Canada, Australia and Britain to combat illegal immigration and verify claims of refugee status. The program will use fingerprints and other methods to confirm identity, travel and immigration history. During a trial run of the program two years ago, the U.S. and Canada exchanged fingerprints on 343 refugee claimants, one-third of which had applied to live in both countries, and 5 percent had a criminal history in the U.S. Canadian authorities say all fingerprints will be destroyed once people become successful refugee claimants or Canadian citizens.
www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/24/biometrics-refugees024.html

Text-a-Tip Programs Help Promote School Safety
eSchoolNews.com, (12/01/2009)

A program that allows citizens to submit anonymous tips through cell phone texting is helping police solve crimes. One provider of the text-a-tip technology has about 400 law enforcement agencies as clients, including Seattle, Miami and San Diego. The system allows citizens to submit a text message of up to 160 characters to police, who can then send messages back to ask follow-up questions. Police can’t identify the sender of the text because the messages are sent to a separate, third-party server, which strips out identifying information and assigns an encrypted alias before forwarding the message to police. Boston police credit the program for providing key leads in four high-profile killings. The program has also proved useful for enhancing school and campus security. In Douglas County, Colo., a text message about a student’s “kill list” led police to weapons in the child’s home. Campus police at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have used the techn! ology to receive tips about rowdy fans at football games.
www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/news-by-subject/safety-security/index.cfm?i=62020

Buckeye Police Use $250,000 Grant Funds to Buy Armored Vehicle
Arizona Republic, (12/03/20009), Jackee Coe

An Arizona SWAT team is getting a new armored vehicle courtesy of a grant from the federal government. The Buckeye Police Department was awarded the $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative. The BearCat Tactical Armored Vehicle, to be delivered in spring 2010, will provide ballistic protection for a SWAT team during critical situations. The vehicle also features gun ports to allow officers to fire from within the vehicle; chemical, biological, radiological and environmental capabilities should there be an incident at a nearby nuclear generating station; and multiple spotlights. The city’s SWAT team has 16 police officers; a 10-person tactical support unit is available to assist the team when necessary.
www.azcentral.com/community/swvalley/articles/2009/12/03/20091203swv-buckeyeswat1204.html

SFPD, SFMTA Agree to Boost Police Presence on Muni
KTVU.com, (11/24/2009)

Results from a crime pattern tracking system have prompted police to place more officers on San Francisco Municipal Railway trains and buses. The CompStat crime pattern tracking system relies on the recording of detailed statistics to identify crime patterns. Individual police captains are held accountable for crime in their districts. Deployment of resources is based on crime analysis, community complaints and the concerns of bus and rail operators. Uniformed officers will be added to the bus and rail lines identified as having the most crimes, including assaults, thefts and graffiti. The police department and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will also be coordinating stepped up enforcement of fare evasion laws.
www.ktvu.com/news/21707668/detail.html

Cold Case Could Get New Look
Stillwater-NewsPress, (12/04/2009), Chelcey Adami

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is using a $500,000 federal grant to fund a cold case unit. The grant from the National Institute of Justice, which will last 18 months, will pay for facilities, new positions and overtime. The unit is based at OSBI headquarters in Oklahoma City. OSBI agents typically have a caseload of 15 to 17 cases at any given time, about seven of which are classified as cold cases. One cold case investigators are hoping to solve is a murder case from the late 1990s. Grant guidelines state that any cold cases reopened must have DNA for a suspect profile.
www.stillwater-newspress.com/local/local_story_338124310.html

New Dispatching System Maps 911 Calls
BolivarMoNews.com, (12/04/2009), Sarah West

The Polk County (Missouri) Emergency 911 Center has replaced its five-year-old computer-aided dispatch system with a CAD system that can map calls to within three meters of the point of origin. The new system, installed in August, validates addresses, indicates officers and units on duty, keeps all calls in progress onscreen, and has automatic time stamps. Because the new system is map based, police can generally trace hang-up calls to an address. A training module in the system allows users to train on the system without affecting what other workers are doing.
www.bolivarmonews.com/articles/2009/12/04/news/doc4b183b2f91c19214378236.txt

Secretary Napolitano Unveils “Virtual USA” Information-Sharing Initiative

December 9, 2009: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today officially launched Virtual USA, an innovative information-sharing initiative—developed in collaboration with the emergency response community and state and local governments across the nation—that helps federal, state, local and tribal first responders communicate during emergencies.

“Our first responders need interoperable tools to make accurate and timely decisions during emergencies,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Virtual USA makes it possible for new and existing technologies to work together seamlessly during disaster response and recovery and gives the public an opportunity to contribute information in real-time to support the efforts of police officers, firefighters and other emergency management officials.”

The announcement came as part of the White House Open Government Initiative and reflects President Obama and Secretary Napolitano’s shared commitment to making government more efficient and fostering a culture of transparency, participation and collaboration.

Virtual USA links disparate tools and technologies in order to share the location and status of critical assets and information—such as power and water lines, flood detectors, helicopter-capable landing sites, emergency vehicle and ambulance locations, weather and traffic conditions, evacuation routes, and school and government building floor plans—across federal, state, local and tribal governments.

Virtual USA:
• Integrates Existing Frameworks and Investments: Virtual USA utilizes current information-sharing platforms to permit new and existing technologies to seamlessly exchange information with one another.
• Draws on Local Input: Virtual USA is based on the needs of local and state first responders to manage data access within their own jurisdictions and to share information with relevant jurisdictions across the nation.
• Employs a Comprehensive Approach: Virtual USA is not limited to information exchanges between two agencies; instead, the initiative fosters dynamic information sharing among all federal, state, local and tribal practitioners.
• Provides a Flexible, Accessible Platform: Because Virtual USA uses open data standards and open source software, more states and localities can join this information exchange project.
• Involves Everyone: Virtual USA allows Americans in their own communities to contribute information—in real-time—to support the efforts of police, fire and emergency management officials during disasters and recovery efforts.

Developed by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Virtual USA currently operates as a pilot in eight states—Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and Tennessee—with plans to incorporate additional states underway. In Virginia alone, Virtual USA has reduced response times to incidents involving hazardous materials by 70 percent.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

CBP Launches New Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System Predator B Guardian UAS Unveiled

December 09, 2009: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection took delivery today of the first maritime variant of the Predator B unmanned aircraft system. At a ceremony in Palmdale, California, CBP, U.S. Coast Guard, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. unveiled the prototype maritime variant Predator B, known as Guardian.

To support future mission requirements, CBP in partnership with the USCG is exploring a maritime variant of its Predator B UAS to increase reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting acquisition capabilities in maritime operating environments. For this purpose, GA-ASI, the manufacturer of the Predator B UAS, modified a CBP Predator B aircraft to become the Guardian.

“The Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System has proven its value to homeland security over the nation’s land borders, the Great Lakes region, and in support of DHS hurricane and flood response operations,” said Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine. “With the introduction of the Guardian, maritime variant of the Predator B, DHS now has a powerful tool and force multiplier to increase maritime domain awareness and confront threats to our borders.”

The Guardian has been modified from a standard Predator B with structural, avionics, and communications enhancements, as well as the addition of a Raytheon SeaVue Marine Search Radar and an Electro-optical/Infrared Sensor that is optimized for maritime operations.

The Guardian is expected to be ready for Operational Test and Evaluation in early 2010. This OT&E will be conducted jointly by CBP and USCG from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. After the Guardian completes operational testing this spring, it will be deployed to the drug source and transit zones to support joint counter-narcotics operations.


In 2008, CBP and the USCG formed a UAS Joint Program Office to identify and address common maritime UAS requirements, including sensors, command and control, data exploitation, logistics and training, and basing.

"I am proud of our partnership with Customs and Border Protection to develop the maritime version of the Predator B," said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. "An unmanned aircraft system is a significant and needed force multiplier that will help us counter threats like narcotics and migrant smuggling, terrorism, and piracy in the vast expanses of the maritime domain. The collaborative work between Coast Guard and CBP officers at the Joint Program Office has been outstanding and we're seeing the results here today."

In the Southeast Coastal Border Region of the United States and drug source and transit zones, CBP plans to use the Guardian to conduct long-range surveillance in support of joint counter-narcotics operations, where maritime radar is necessary to detect a variety of threats.

In the future, at the Northern Border, the Guardian will allow CBP to conduct surveillance of the Great Lakes, creating a more comprehensive picture of activity in this expansive maritime environment, and give law enforcement a more accurate tool to use in sorting illegal activity from legitimate activity.

CBP first employed the Predator B in support of law enforcement operations on the Southwest Border in 2005 and along the Northern Border in 2009. CBP operates three Predator Bs from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and two more from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. UAS operations will continue to expand in 2010. By 2015, Air and Marine expects to employ the Predator B throughout the border regions with command and control from a network of UAS ground control stations across the country.

Built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Air and Marine’s new MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System will support air and marine crews and Border Patrol agents charged with securing the border.

Monday, December 7, 2009

CBP Launches New Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System Predator B Guardian UAS Unveiled

December 07, 2009: Washington - The U.S. Customs and Border Protection took delivery today of the first maritime variant of the Predator B unmanned aircraft system. At a ceremony in Palmdale, California, CBP, U.S. Coast Guard, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. unveiled the prototype maritime variant Predator B, known as Guardian.

“The Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System has proven its value to homeland security over the nation’s land borders, the Great Lakes region, and in support of DHS hurricane and flood response operations,” said Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine. “With the introduction of the Guardian, maritime variant of the Predator B, DHS now has a powerful tool and force multiplier to increase maritime domain awareness and confront threats to our borders.”

The Guardian has been modified from a standard Predator B with structural, avionics, and communications enhancements, as well as the addition of a Raytheon SeaVue Marine Search Radar and an Electro-optical/Infrared Sensor that is optimized for maritime operations.

The Guardian is expected to be ready for Operational Test and Evaluation in early 2010. This OT&E will be conducted jointly by CBP and USCG from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. After the Guardian completes operational testing this spring, it will be deployed to the drug source and transit zones to support joint counter-narcotics operations.

In 2008, CBP and the USCG formed a UAS Joint Program Office to identify and address common maritime UAS requirements, including sensors, command and control, data exploitation, logistics and training, and basing.

"I am proud of our partnership with Customs and Border Protection to develop the maritime version of the Predator B," said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. "An unmanned aircraft system is a significant and needed force multiplier that will help us counter threats like narcotics and migrant smuggling, terrorism, and piracy in the vast expanses of the maritime domain. The collaborative work between Coast Guard and CBP officers at the Joint Program Office has been outstanding and we're seeing the results here today."

In the Southeast Coastal Border Region of the United States and drug source and transit zones, CBP plans to use the Guardian to conduct long-range surveillance in support of joint counter-narcotics operations, where maritime radar is necessary to detect a variety of threats.

In the future, at the Northern Border, the Guardian will allow CBP to conduct surveillance of the Great Lakes, creating a more comprehensive picture of activity in this expansive maritime environment, and give law enforcement a more accurate tool to use in sorting illegal activity from legitimate activity.

CBP first employed the Predator B in support of law enforcement operations on the Southwest Border in 2005 and along the Northern Border in 2009. CBP operates three Predator Bs from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and two more from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. UAS operations will continue to expand in 2010. By 2015, Air and Marine expects to employ the Predator B throughout the border regions with command and control from a network of UAS ground control stations across the country.

Built by General Atomics Aeronautical Aviation, Air and Marine’s new MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System will support air and marine crews and Border Patrol agents charged with securing the border.

FEMA And The FCC Announce Adoption Of Standards For Wireless Carriers To Receive And Deliver Emergency Alerts Via Mobile Devices

December 7, 2009: As part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the nation’s next generation of emergency alert and warning networks, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced the adoption of the design specifications for the development of a gateway interface that will enable wireless carriers to provide its customers with timely and accurate emergency alerts and warnings via their cell phones and other mobile devices.

The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is one of many projects within IPAWS intended to provide emergency mangers and the President of the United States a means to send alerts and warnings to the public. Specifically, CMAS provides Federal, state, territorial, tribal and local government officials the ability to send 90 character geographically targeted text messages to the public regarding emergency alert and warning of imminent threats to life and property, Amber alerts, and Presidential emergency messages. The CMAS is a combined effort of the federal government and cellular providers to define a common standard for cellular alerts.

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the 28-month period, mandated by the FCC in August 2008, for commercial mobile service providers who have elected to participate in the design specifications known as CMAS to develop, test and deploy the system and deliver mobile alerts to the public by 2012.

“Working as a team with our partners in the public and private sectors, the adoption of the CMAS standard brings us even closer to making the nation’s next-generation of emergency alerts and warnings – Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) – a reality,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Our goal is simple, to give one message over more devices to more people for maximum safety.”

“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to ensuring that Americans receive critical emergency alerts and warnings to protect themselves on the go, anywhere, anytime,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “I applaud FEMA for its leadership and look forward to working with both FEMA and the wireless industry to expedite the delivery of this important public safety service to consumers.”

Wireless carriers who choose to participate in the CMAS will relay authorized text-based alerts to their subscribers. To ensure that persons with disabilities who subscribe to wireless services receive these emergency alerts, the FCC adopted rules in 2008 that will require participating wireless carriers to transmit messages with both vibration cadence and audio attention signals.

The adoption of CMAS culminates the collaborative specification development work between FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), the Alliance of Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and begins the next phase of CMAS collaboration with industry in which FEMA will build the Federal Alert Aggregator/Gateway. This collaboration with industry is a key component of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Programs’ ability to provide alerts and warnings to the public through as many means as possible, including commercial mobile services.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations

On December 17, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with Vernon J. Geberth, NYPD (ret.) on Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations.

Program Date: December 17, 2009
Program Time: 1700 hours, Pacific
Topic:
Forensic Science in Homicide Investigations
Listen Live: www.americanheroesradio.com/forensic_science_homicide_investigations.html

About the Guest
Vernon Geberth is a retired lieutenant-commander of the New York Police Department. As the commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, his investigators handled more than four hundred murder investigations every year. Vernon Geberth is recipient of over sixty awards for bravery and exceptional work during twenty-three years of service. He has personally investigated, supervised, assessed, researched and consulted on over eight thousand homicides.

Vernon Geberth has master's degrees in both psychology and professional studies, is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy. Over the past twenty-five years, he has taught over 50,000 police officers his comprehensive course in Practical Homicide Investigation.

Geberth’s book, Practical Homicide Investigation has been referred to as the "Bible of Homicide." His subsequent works, “The Practical
Homicide Investigation Checklist and Field Guide” and “Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives,” demonstrate his professional ability and subject matter expert command over homicide investigations. In addition to his own works Geberth has been an editor in over forty other textbooks. He has devoted his life to the study of murder and was the first law enforcement professional to devise standard guidelines and protocols for proficient death inquiries. Currently he is president of P.H.I. Investigative Consultants, Inc., a New York-based corporation that provides state-of-the-art instruction and consultation regarding homicide investigations to police officers.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in
Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
www.americanheroesradio.com/forensic_science_homicide_investigations.html

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Team Celebrates 60 Years of Advancing Technology

By Ian Graham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 7, 2009 - The technology that lets you listen to CDs, the GPS that got you around a traffic jam this morning, and even the mouse you just used to click on this story all are direct results of research conducted or sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. For nearly 60 years, AFOSR has pushed the limits of technological research. The resulting accomplishments have led to the creation of numerous revolutionary capabilities -- breakthroughs that have been the cornerstones in critical areas that directly support the Air Force mission -- from lasers and stealth to space weather and self-healing materials.

Brendan B. Godfrey, director of AFOSR, spoke during a Dec. 2 interview on the Pentagon Channel podcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" about the office's plans for continued success and the development of the next generation of outstanding scientists and engineers.

"We strive to identify and support revolutionary and far-reaching research that has a diversity of applications, attacking things that, frankly, we have no idea how to do," said Godfrey, who holds a doctorate in physics. "If we know how to do them, we let somebody else worry about them."

Fifty-seven of the scientists the office has sponsored in the past 60 years have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their accomplishments. Godfrey said it's something AFOSR's people are proud of, but they aren't out looking to win awards.

"We don't set out to fund Nobel laureates," he said. "It's easy to fund somebody after they're famous, but we're quite skilled, I think, at picking out people that are going to make an impact before they've made it."

The group has a long history of contributing to major advances in technology. Its funding and networking played a role in the creation of the laser, the transistor, global positioning systems, the computer mouse, stealth technology and high-pressure flight suits.

More recently, the office has worked to create three-dimensional holograms that can be changed in real time.

"We're not far away from 3-D holographic movies – movies where you can actually step inside the action," Godfrey said.

AFOSR looks in the long-term to keep the military ahead of its adversaries technologically. It stays on the cutting edge by networking with and funding the world's leading researchers and trying to move their research from the laboratory to the commercial and military sectors. Currently, for example, there's research being done in cooperation with Purdue University to create rocket fuel using aluminum nanoparticles and ice.

Godfrey said it can be particularly difficult, because by the time the public hears of a scientific breakthrough, the innovation could be years old. "We want to know where science is going, not where it's been," he said.

The group now is focused on three major research areas, Godfrey said. The first is working to improve aircraft and spacecraft, seeking better fuel and propulsion systems, and studying bats to learn about aerodynamics and maneuverability in close quarters.

"We know more about how bats fly than anybody else in the world," Godfrey said. "They're very good at maneuvering at high speeds in tight quarters, and this is what you're going to have to do with micro-aerial vehicles as they fly around inside cities."

AFOSR's scientists also want to create a more complete picture of the battlefield for warfighters – "ubiquitous battlefield knowledge," Godfrey called it. Improved microwave and laser technology can improve battlefield communications, and potentially could be used as a weapon. New sensors are being developed that can read and display multiple bands of the frequency spectrum, and studies are being done to better understand phenomena in the ionosphere and in space to improve satellite communication and longevity.

The third main research area focuses on computers, cybersecurity and decision-making – everything from creating algorithms to control large numbers of small, remotely piloted aircraft to researching human cognition to better understand how humans and computers can interact.

AFOSR has undertaken many successful ventures, but many others have not turned out as planned or have resulted in accidental discoveries with limited relevance for the Air Force. Technical risk is an accepted part of all AFOSR basic research, Godfrey said.

"[The research we do] isn't easy – you don't know if it's going to work," he said. "But you've got to try."

He referred to Thomas Edison's response when asked about the thousands of failed attempts at creating the light bulb: "Every one of them worked," Edison said. "Every one showed me how not to make an electric light."

"If AFOSR succeeded in every piece of research that it funded, I should be fired," Godfrey joked, "because it would mean that we're not reaching forward far enough -- that we're not taking enough risks."

(Ian Graham works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lynn Outlines Protections for Information

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 4, 2009 - Although information technology enables the Defense Department to make gains in military capabilities, those gains come at a cost, the deputy defense secretary told industry executives in New York. "The Defense Department makes a tempting target," William J. Lynn III said. "We have 7 million computer devices, and each is under threat. This is not a new threat."

Lynn told several hundred Aerospace and Defense Conference attendees Dec. 2 that more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are trying to hack in to U.S. systems, and foreign governments are developing offensive cyber capabilities. Some already have the capacity to disrupt elements of U.S. information.

Organized criminal groups and hackers are trying to get in on the act as well, he said. They're building global networks of compromised computers and renting them to the highest bidders, in essence becoming 21st century cyber mercenaries.

"So our defense networks are under threat each and every day," Lynn said. "They are probed thousands of times a week. They are scanned millions of times a day, and the frequency and sophistication of these attempts and these intrusions are increasing exponentially."

Because of its importance and the threats against it, the department now formally recognizes cyberspace for what it is: a domain similar to land, sea, air and space, Lynn said.

And just like those other domains, it needs protection. "Just as we need freedom of navigation of the seas, we need freedom of movement online," Lynn said.

The department is working in culture, capabilities, and command to meet the threats against it in cyberspace.

Most of the 90,000 personnel defending the 15,000 networks are not formally certified in information assurance. An expansion of the department's training and certification programs will help to build a "truly world-class cyber workforce," Lynn said.

The creation of a testing ground will allow the department to engage in real-world simulations so it can develop, test, and field new cyber security capabilities.

Also, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates approved the creation of the Cyber Command as a sub-component of the Strategic Command. It will lead day-to-day defense and protection of all defense networks, Lynn said, while emphasizing its specific focus.

"I want to be very clear about this: Cybercom is not the militarization of cyberspace," he said. "It will be responsible for the DoD's networks – the dot-mil world."

Responsibility for the civilian defense networks, the dot-gov networks, will remain with the Homeland Security Department.

"We're making progress, but we still have a long way to go," he said. Another part of the progress is the president's new office of cyber security. But the question of how to partner with industry remains, he said.

"The cyber domain, unlike land, sea, air and space, is owned primarily by private entities, which operates most of our nation's information infrastructure," Lynn said. "To protect it, the government needs to establish coherent, effective laws and regulations that preserve proprietary information.

"Devising answers to these questions is an enormous challenge," he added.

Also working on these challenges for the government, business partnerships in particular, is Robert J. Butler, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber and space policy. He participated in the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International town hall Dec. 3, to close the organization's "Solutions Series" conference.

"Within my arena, [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy, we have three primary goals," he said. "One is to provide guidance within the department, working for the secretary ... to find ways that we can build those organizational relationships within the government, and then the international partnerships."

He agrees with Lynn that the effort to meet cyber threats fall into the "three Cs" -- culture, capability and command.

"I spend a fair amount of my time really working with lots of different groups on the education process," he said. "I see that as a huge issue. I would encourage, and I'm certainly excited and enthused, [about] what AFCEA has been doing through this [AFCEA Solutions] series."

The town hall concluded the two-day conference, "Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security."

The purpose of the conference, held in Virginia, was to further the dialogue between government and the private sector on key policy and technology barriers limiting the ability to combat threats.

Monday, November 30, 2009

DARPA Launches Network Challenge Competition

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 30, 2009 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will take the Internet technology it helped create 40 years ago a step farther this weekend with a contest aimed at bringing people together to solve tough problems. And the agency has sweetened the "DARPA Network Challenge" with a $40,000 cash prize.

The competition kicks off Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, when DARPA will display 10 8-foot, red weather balloons at undisclosed, publicly accessible sites around the continental United States. The balloons will remain at their locations throughout the day, until sunset.

The first person to identify the precise latitudes and longitudes of all 10 balloons will win the kitty.

Norman Whitaker, deputy director of DARPA's transformational convergence technology office, conceded that it would be nearly impossible for any one person to pinpoint every balloon within the designated timeframe. But if the competitors worked together as teams – using social networking forums made possible through the Internet – it is possible, he said.

"Nobody knows where the balloons are," Whitaker said. "But we will give people a little more than a week to contact their friends and talk to other people and scheme and plan and wheedle and deedle and figure out how they can get the information for the balloons they did not see themselves, and be the first to send the answers in to DARPA."

Whitaker admits that the challenge is "tough, really tough," but said he's optimistic that at least one contestant will be able to solve it.

How long that will take is anyone's guess. "If someone does it in the first five minutes, we are prepared to announce it right then," he said.

On the other hand, if no one has yet identified all 10 weather balloons after a week, DARPA is prepared to reward any contestant who pinpoints at least half of them. "If the most anybody got was five, we would consider that a win and award the prize," Whitaker said.

That's because DARPA's Network Challenge isn't out to identify the answers, but rather, how competitors arrive at them. "We are not interested in the balloons. We already know where those are," Whitaker said. "It's the techniques people use to solve the challenge we're focused on. We have people who are going to be actively watching from the sidelines to see how this plays out."

Contestants could employ several methods to entice supporters, Whitaker said. For example, he said, they could use a Web site to offer a portion of the prize money to anyone who contributes information about the balloons' locations. Contestants also could work with a charity, he continued, and donate winnings to its cause. Asking for help through Facebook, I-phone or other Web-based applications might also be feasible, he said.

The effort, he said, will give insight into the role the Internet and social networking can play in promoting team-building, collaboration and communication needed to solve broad, time-critical, real-life problems.

It's not yet known exactly how that information might be used, Whitaker said, but that's never been a roadblock for the Defense Department's high-tech research agency. "We're DARPA," he said. "We like to do things that are really out of the box."

That's how DARPA researchers approached their work 40 years ago, Whitaker said, by scratching their heads and wondering what benefit might come from hooking computers together to form the "ARPANet" – today's Internet.

Curiosity and imagination still serves to drive DARPA efforts, he said.

For example, DARPA started the Grand Challenge in 2004 to promote the development of autonomous robotic vehicle technology. Participating teams – many representing nontraditional sources of ideas and talent -- designed, built and remotely piloted unmanned ground vehicles that raced the clock while traversing rugged desert terrain.

Whitaker, who led the most recent Grand Challenge, said the DARPA Network Challenge will tap into the same fresh thinking that led to the Internet revolution.

"Future innovation depends on the upcoming generation of technologists who are discovering new, collaborative ways to approach problems that were not dreamt of 40 years ago," he said.

Registration for the DARPA Network Challenge opened last week, and details and application procedures are posted on the DARPA Web site.

Global Positioning Systems Improve Helicopter Safety

By Ian Graham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 30, 2009 - Global positioning system technology is being applied to older rotary-wing aircraft to help save lives, a senior helicopter pilot based at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., said. Air Force Col. Peter Mapes and other pilots at Andrews will install and test advanced GPS units, designed originally for airplanes, in some of the 316th Wing, 1st Helicopter Squadron's UH-1N "Huey" helicopters.

"This is game-changing technology because it directly addresses the leading cause of loss of life in this type of aeronautical vehicle," Mapes said.

The Defense Safety Oversight Council sponsored the test as part of efforts to reduce helicopter mishaps. From 1985 to 2005, 917 non-combat mishaps occurred, resulting in death, injury, damage exceeding $200,000, and the loss of aircraft.

Most helicopter fatalities are caused by impact with terrain – unseen mountains, trees or other obstructions -- known as controlled flight into terrain or CFIT. Because the vehicles are generally moving at high speed during such collisions, more than 90 percent of passengers and crew exposed to these events are injured or killed.

The GPS units installed in the Hueys help prevent- CFITs by displaying maps of potential obstructions at a certain elevation.

"This device has a global terrain database and will warn you of any potential collision," Mapes said. "It also has an obstruction database for North America, Central America and Western Europe that will warn about towers if you're in those areas."

The new GPS systems, he explained, turn each helicopter into a sort of "mini radar station." In addition to providing data on obstructions and terrain, it also tracks weather patterns – including lightning strikes, wind flow and rain – and other aircraft in the area.

Unexpectedly bad weather is the second leading non-human factor responsible for Army helicopter mishaps, and the leading non-human factor causing fatalities.

But, by using the new equipment, officials say, a pilot can essentially fly "blind" using the GPS and weather data to make flight plans, observe potential obstructions and even land the aircraft with minimal visibility.

The unit, a GNS-530AWT produced by Garmin, also gives the helicopters radio communication and navigation requirements, making them easy to deploy worldwide.

(Ian Graham is a writer for the Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media Directorate.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Desert Hot Springs Police to Install Cameras in Public Places
The Desert Sun, (11/16/2009), Kate McGinty

Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has installed a network of public surveillance cameras in public places (including city parks) and in squad cars. The network can be monitored by dispatchers and officers over a secure outdoor wireless network. Desert Springs Police Chief Pat Williams said this is the first system in the country to use this mobile monitoring application. The public surveillance cameras will be monitored live in the event of a call to check a specific site; they can also be passively monitored by reviewing tapes after an incident. The squad cameras will be continuously monitored through a live streaming function. Officers will be able to tune into each other other’s dash cams in the event they are called on to provide backup. Initial installation includes 30 cameras but the network has the potential to expand to 150 units.
www.mydesert.com/article/20091116/NEWS01/911160307/1006/news01/Desert-Hot-Springs-police-to-install-30-cameras-in-public-places-16-squad-cars

Lansing to Launch New Text-Messaging Alert Service
LansingStateJournal.com, (11/16/2009), Ryan Loew

Lansing, Mich., plans a Dec. 14, 2009 launch for a new community information text-messaging service that will deliver timely information about emergencies and other events. Users will receive texts through their individual plans and will sign up through Nixle (www.nixle.com), which provides free secure texting services to public entities and other organizations nationwide. The city will send messages that include details on emergency situations and what actions, citizens should take. Lansing will also use the service to provide other public service announcements, such as information about snow plowing. Users can decide which classes of alerts they will receive.
www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20091116/NEWS01/911160336/1002/NEWS01

New System Locates 911 Cell Phone Calls
Kilgore News Herald, (11/18/2009)

The Wireless Phase II (WP2) network recently launched in several East Texas counties and cities sends emergency dispatchers the latitude and longitude of someone making a call from a cellular telephone. Under the system, cellular providers give caller location to public safety answering point (PSAP) dispatchers with the actual location of a caller (within distances mandated by the Federal Communications Commission). Previously, the companies could only identify the tower location the call came from and the call back number. The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) launched deployment and testing of WP2 in December 2008, with testing completed in August 2009. Participating PSAPs include police departments in Canton, Carthage, Gladewater, Jacksonville, Palestine, Mineola and White Oak and sheriff ’s offices in Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Gregg, Marion, Panola, Rains, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties.
www.kilgorenewsherald.com/news/2009-11-18/Front_Page/New_system_locates_911_cell_phone_calls.html

Smuggled Cell Phones Pose Prison Problems
ABC7News.Com, (11/17/2009), Vic Lee

The California Penal System recently added a second cell-phone sniffing dog to a pilot program being run at Solano State Prison. Drako, an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois, is undergoing training as part of the state’s effort to stop the smuggling of cell phone to inmates. In 2008, more than 800 cell phones made their way into the medium-security facility in venues as varied as body cavities and cakes. It takes approximately eight weeks to train a dog to detect the odor that is specific to cell phones.
abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/assignment_7&id=7124324

Warning Crooks: Bucks County, Pa., Has Your Number
GCN, (11/20/2009), Joab Jackson

In Bucks County, Pa., seven police departments have begun to use software that provides information-sharing capability among their officers. Cody Systems’ Collaborative Object-Based Regional Access (COBRA) system has been donated to all departments in the county at no cost in honor of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Patrol officers can access COBRA through their laptop computers, searching on persons, incidents and vehicles in any Bucks County district. Information entered into one jurisdiction’s system can be accessed by other jurisdictions within minutes. The system was donated in memory of Newtown Borough police officer Brian Gregg, killed in 2005 by a man with a history of violent behavior.
gcn.com/articles/2009/11/19/bristol-police.aspx

Biometrics Used in Gwinnett to Identify Illegal Immigrants
Talk Gwinnett & the Gwinnett Gazette, (11/17/2009)

Law enforcement agencies in Gwinnett, Clayton and DeKalb counties in Georgia have joined a U.S. Department of Justice/U.S. Department of Homeland Security initiative, Secure Communities, which is administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When a participating agency arrests an individual, Secure Communities can determine whether that individual is a criminal alien and take appropriate action. Previously, the Georgia agencies checked arrestees’ fingerprints against a system maintained by the FBI. Now, fingerprint information will be checked against both the FBI system and DHS immigration records. A match will trigger an ICE evaluation. Top priority is given to individuals with prior convictions for major offenses.
www.talkgwinnett.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=978&Itemid=1

Beaumont Police Will Be Reading Your License Plates
12News, (11/21/2009), David Ingram

The Beaumont (Texas) Police Department recently began using a new automated license plate recognition system that uses cameras mounted on patrol cars to read license plate numbers of nearby vehicles, scanning them against databases of cars that have been reported stolen. The department has already recovered eight stolen vehicles using the system, funded through a grant from the Texas Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority.
www.kbmt12.com/news/local/70709817.html

Montco Emergency Call Info Available in Real Time
Pottstown Mercury, (11/24/2009), Keith Phucas

Montgomery County, Pa., residents can log onto the county Department of Public Safety’s Web site and obtain near real-time data about emergency calls via a live Web-based interface with the emergency computer aided dispatch system. Located at http://dps.montcopa.org/webcad, the site, which is the first of its kind in the nation, provides information on fires, medical emergencies and traffic-related incidents 24/7. Police calls are not included to help ensure officer safety and full residential addresses are not provided, only block numbers. The site offers integrated mapping capability, features for Web-enabled mobile phones and links to live audio streaming from emergency radio channels.
www.pottstownmercury.com/articles/2009/11/24/news/srv0000006908540.txt

Deptford Police Get High-Tech License Plate Scanner
Philly.com, (11/24/2009), Barbara Boyer

The Deptford (Pa.) Police Department has used an $18,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant to purchase a new license-plate recognition system that will scan thousands of plates every day. The system then runs the license plate numbers through several databases and alerts officers if a vehicle has been reported stolen or if its owner is wanted under an outstanding warrant. Deptford becomes the sixth Gloucester County department to implement the system. On the first day the system went into use, it helped lead to the arrest of two alleged car thieves. One of the men faced outstanding warrants in three states on drugs, assault and weapons charges. Other arrests followed in the first two weeks of use.
www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20091124_Deptford_police_get_high-tech_license_plate_scanner.html

High-Tech ‘Ears’ Listen for Shots
New York Times, (11/20/2009), Cara Buckley

ShotSpotter, a gunshot tracking system that has been adopted by more than 45 jurisdictions nationwide, has recently been deployed in areas of Westchester and Nassau counties in New York and suburban New York City areas in New Jersey and New Haven. The system has had various successes, including leading New Haven police to a women with a smoking gun still in her hand. In Nassau County, the system allowed police to locate a wounded victim and transport the individual to a hospital in the absence of a citizen 911 call. Police officials also hope the system will deter would-be shooters. ShotSpotter uses microphones to transmit the sound of a gunshot to a police department computer and use wireless sensors to triangulate the location of the noises. ShotSpotter is guaranteed to locate a shot within 80 feet of where it was fired.
www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/nyregion/22shot.html?_r=1