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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GSN Awards 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Best Anti-Malware Solution




Best Identity Management Platform


Alert Enterprise


Best Certificate Management Solution




Best Compliance /Vulnerability Assessment Solution




Best Data Security/Loss Management Solution


WAVE Systems


Best Endpoint Security Solution




Best Forensic Software




Best Intelligence Data Fusion and Collaborative Analysis Solution


Lookingglass Cyber Solutions


Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution



Vanguard Integrity Professionals


Best Network Security/Enterprise Firewall


Black Lotus


Best Privileged Access Management Solution





Best Real-Time Dynamic Network Analysis


Fidelis Security


Best Continuous Monitoring Solution





Best Security Incident/Event Management Solution (SIEM)








Best Biometric Identification Solution


Fulcrum Biometrics


Best Integrated System for HSPD 12/FIPS 201 Compliance




Best Platform for Physical and Logical Access


Alert Enterprise




Best Interoperable First Responder Communications


Covia Labs


Best Mass Notification Systems




Best Regional or National Public Safety Communications Deployment


Desktop Alert




Best Explosives Detection Solution




Best Long Range Detection Systems




Best Nuclear/Radiation Detection


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory




Best Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution




Best Thermal/Night Vision/Infrared Cameras


HGH Infrared Systems



Best Network IP Cameras


Axis Communications


Best Video Storage/Digital Transmission Systems






Best Perimeter Protection Solution




Best Crash Barriers




Best Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Solution


NICE Systems




Best Disaster Preparedness or Disaster Recovery & Clean-up Service


High-Rise Escape Systems


Best Facility Security/Force Protection Service


Whitestone Group


Best Homeland Security Training/Higher Education Solutions


Bellevue University


Category 3: Government Security News 2012 Government Excellence Awards


Most Notable Airport Security Award


Defense Manpower Agency


Most Notable Maritime/Port Security Program


Ohio Department of Public Safety/Northern Border Initiative


Most Notable Railroad/Mass Transit Security Program


Denver Regional Transportation Authority


Most Notable Critical Infrastructure Program, Project or Initiative


U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital, Tucson, AZ


Most Notable Cyber Security Program, Project or Initiative


U.S. Department of Energy


Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation


U.S. National Guard

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


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


Orange County Intelligence Assessment Fusion Center


Most Notable Municipal/County Programs, Projects or Initiatives


Seattle, Washington Police Department

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida Police Departments


Federal Government


Naval Air Systems Command (Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance)

GSN 2012 Homeland Security Awards program open for entries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entry forms and other information about the 2012 Awards Program are available at

GSN 2011 Awards Program opens for entries on April 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at:[email protected]/.

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


Alan Avidan, President, indicates that OzVision is pushing the forefront of hosted video services for dealers and users. The company’s government market includes military bases, government facilities, and national monuments such as the Washington Monument, the State of Liberty and Ford’s Theater. Avidan calls for dealers and central services to join in the hosted video movement, which he describes as the future of the industry.

Obama seeks three percent hike in discretionary budget at DHS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office announces a new program called COMPASS Making Gray-Zone Activity more Black and White

An emergent type of conflict in recent years has been coined “gray zone,” because it sits in a nebulous area between peace and conventional warfare. Gray-zone action is not openly declared or defined, it’s slower, and is prosecuted more subtly—using social, psychological, religious, information, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence. The lack of clarity of intent—the grayness—makes it challenging to detect, characterize, and counter an enemy fighting this way.

To better understand and respond to an adversary’s gray-zone engagement, DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office today announced a new program called COMPASS, which stands for Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios. The program aims to develop software that would help clarify enemy intent by gauging an adversary’s responses to various stimuli. COMPASS will leverage advanced artificial intelligence technologies, game theory, and modeling and estimation to both identify stimuli that yield the most information about an adversary’s intentions, and provide decision makers high-fidelity intelligence on how to respond–-with positive and negative tradeoffs for each course of action.

“The ultimate goal of the program is to provide theater-level operations and planning staffs with robust analytics and decision-support tools that reduce ambiguity of adversarial actors and their objectives,” said Fotis Barlos, DARPA program manager. “As we see increasingly more sophistication in gray-zone activity around the world, we need to leverage advanced AI and other technologies to help commanders make more effective decisions to thwart an enemy’s complex, multi-layered disruptive activity.”

Current military decision-making follows a well-understood and effective OODA loop—Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. This is how planning is done in various geographic areas around the world, which works for traditional kinetic scenarios, Barlos said. This process, however, is not effective in gray zone warfare. Signals in the environment are typically not rich enough to draw any conclusions, and, just as often, adversaries could implant these signals to induce ambiguity. COMPASS aims to add a dynamic, adaptive element to the OODA loop for complex, gray-zone environments.

The COMPASS program will leverage game theory for developing simulations to test and understand various potential actions and possible reactions by an adversary employing gray-zone activity. Barlos quickly noted, however, that the program is not about developing new sensory technologies, virtual reality systems or other advanced hardware. The program focuses rather on advanced software that would quickly present options to decision makers by assimilating a large amount of intelligence collected using existing, state of the art systems (such as standard video exploitation, or textual analysis tools) related to rapidly changing scenarios.

“We’re looking at the problem from two perspectives: Trying to determine what the adversary is trying to do, his intent; and once we understand that or have a better understanding of it, then identify how he’s going to carry out his plans—what the timing will be, and what actors will be used,” Barlos said. “The first is the what, and second is the where, when, and how.

“But in order to decide which of those actions is important you need to analyze the data, and you need to understand what different implications are and build a model of what you think the adversary will do,” he said. “That’s where game theory comes in. If I do this, what will the adversary do? If I do that, what might he do? So it is using artificial intelligence in a repeated game theory process to try to decide what the most effective action is based on what the adversary cares about.”

The COMPASS program seeks experts in AI, machine learning, game theory, modeling and simulation, control systems, estimation and other related fields. A Proposers Day is scheduled for March 30, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia. Registration instructions and more details are available on FedBizOpps (FBO): A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation is expected to be posted on FBO prior to the Proposers Day and will be available on DARPA’s FBO solicitation page:

Image Caption: DARPA’s Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios (COMPASS) program aims to developed advanced decision-making tools for commanders and other decision makers in complex and dynamic gray-zone conflict.


# # #

President Donald J. Trump is Taking Immediate Actions to Secure Our Schools

President Donald J. Trump is making sure our schools are safe and secure, just like our airports, stadiums, and government buildings.

  • President Trump’s Administration will assist States to train specially qualified school personnel on a voluntary basis.
    • • Department of Justice (DOJ) assistance programs will be leveraged to enable schools to partner with State and local law enforcement to provide firearms training for school personnel.
    • • The Administration will support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education.
  • • The Administration will encourage States’ Attorneys General to audit school district compliance with State emergency preparedness activities.
  • • Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will partner with States and localities to support a public awareness campaign modeled on “See Something, Say Something” to encourage awareness and reporting of suspicious activity.

STRENGTHENING BACKGROUND CHECKS AND PREVENTION: President Trump supports legislation and reforms to strengthen background checks and law enforcement operations.

  • • President Trump’s Administration is calling on every State to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).
    • • The President is directing the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to States, at their request, on establishing and implementing ERPOs.
    • • ERPOs allow law enforcement, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from individuals who are a demonstrated threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.
    • • ERPOs should be carefully tailored to ensure the due process rights of law-abiding citizens are protected.
  • • President Trump supports improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The President supports the legislative framework introduced by Senators Cornyn and Murphy that will help improve the accuracy and effectiveness of NICS.
    • • The Cornyn-Murphy bill will hold Federal agencies more accountable for reporting information to NICS and will incentivize States to improve their reporting to the system.
  • • The President supports the framework of the STOP School Violence Act, which provides for State-based grants to implement evidence-based violence prevention programs.
    • • Grants will provide States with funds for training, technology, and technical assistance to help schools identify and prevent violent acts.
  • • The Administration requests that Congress provide funding in 2018 to jump start implementation of this evidence-based program in middle and high schools nationwide.
  • • The President’s Administration will audit and make accountability improvements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) tip line, and will promote its use.
  • • DOJ will provide emergency and crisis training for local law enforcement.

MENTAL HEALTH REFORM: President Trump is proposing an expansion and reform of mental health programs, including those that help identify and treat individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.

  • • The President is proposing increased integration of mental health, primary care, and family services, as well as support for programs that utilize court-ordered treatment.
  • • The President is calling for a review of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other statutory and regulatory privacy protections.
    • • Reviews will determine if any changes or clarifications are needed to improve coordination between mental health and other healthcare professionals, school officials, and law enforcement personnel.

INVESTIGATION: In addition to these immediate actions, President Trump is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety chaired by Secretary Betsy DeVos and will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention. 

  • President Trump’s Administration will establish a Federal commission, chaired by Secretary DeVos, to address school safety and the culture of violence.
  • While the Administration is taking immediate action on school safety, the Federal commission will develop a process to evaluate and make recommendations on school safety.
  • The commission will study and make recommendations on the following areas of focus:
    • • Age restrictions for certain firearm purchases.
    • • Existing entertainment rating systems and youth consumption of violent entertainment.
    • • Strategies to advance the science and practice of character development in youth and a culture of connectedness.
    • • Effects of press coverage of mass shootings.
    • • Repeal of the Obama Administration’s “Rethink School Discipline” policies.
    • • Best practices for school buildings and campus security from Federal Government components, including the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and also from other State, local, and private sector sources.
    • • A plan for integration and coordination of Federal resources focused on prevention and mitigation of active shooter incidents at schools.
    • • Opportunities to improve access to mental health treatment, including through efforts that raise awareness about mental illness and the effectiveness of treatment, reduce barriers to the recruitment of mental health professionals, and provide training related to violence prevention.
    • • Best practices for school-based threat assessment and violence prevention strategies.
    • • The effectiveness and appropriateness of psychotropic medication for treatment of troubled youth.
    • • Ensuring that findings are sufficiently supported by existing and additional Federal, State, and local funding sources.

State Of Maryland To Assess The Reliability And Security Of Its 911 Network Infrastructure

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Mission Critical Partners (MCP), a leading provider of consulting and co-managed services for mission-critical infrastructure, along with partner SecuLore Solutions, a Maryland-based cyber security company focused on public safety, has been selected to complete a dynamic 911 network discovery for all public safety answering points (PSAPs) in the state of Maryland. A second component of the project is to complete an in-depth cyber security evaluation of its PSAPs with the goal of protecting them against external and internal threats.

The project will generate greater visibility into Maryland's 911 infrastructure, applications and databases, which are growing in complexity and sophistication as the state transitions to Next Generation 911 (NG911), a broadband, internet-protocol (IP)-based system that enables the transmission of real-time text, images, video and voice calls. While this transition brings tremendous benefits, such as the potential for faster and more efficient emergency response, it also creates increased risks that PSAPs must understand and actively manage to protect against intentional and unintentional threats. For example, in the last 24 months alone, 145 cyber incidents have affected public safety agencies in 43 states.

MCP and SecuLore Solutions will provide the following tasks on behalf of the Maryland Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB):

  • Complete a dynamic network and asset discovery to create an up-to-date infrastructure and asset database that reveals single points of failure, vulnerabilities and security risks
  • Analyze the future need for PSAPs to proactively protect their networks while migrating to NG911 technology
  • Execute an in-depth cyber security evaluation called CyberBenchmark™ to determine the PSAPs level of risk

"We support Maryland's vision to be confident in the security, information and documentation surrounding its 911 infrastructure," said Kevin Murray, MCP's chief executive officer and cofounder. "Taking this proactive approach will help them be better prepared for their upcoming transition to NG911, and safeguard against threats that could disable them or interrupt their ability to serve the citizens of Maryland."

"As evidenced by the cyber-attacks we've seen across the country, we know legacy systems are at risk, and in moving to an all IP NG911 system, there are new and different vulnerabilities for which public safety will need to be prepared," said Tim Lorello, SecuLore Solution's chief executive officer and president. "We are proud to support our state's effort to take this important step in getting PSAPs and their IT teams the cybersecurity resources they need."

The PSAPs supported by the Maryland ENSB serve more than 6 million residents and visitors and process more than 5 million emergency calls annually.

About Mission Critical Partners (MCP)

Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is a professional and co-managed services firm that helps clients enhance and evolve their public safety systems and operations through our extensive experience, knowledge and resources. By providing insight and support every step of the way, our clients are able to transform their mission critical operations, maximizing the value of their investments and ensuring optimal performance and success. Additional information and career opportunities are available at

About SecuLore Solutions

SecuLore Solutions is a cyber security company focused on public safety. Combining public safety knowledge with deep cyber security expertise, SecuLore's technology is inspired by an understanding of how hackers operate, which provides unique perspectives to better thwart cyber attackers. Based upon FCC, DHS & NIST best practices, SecuLore provides cybersecurity services including Paladin™, CyberBenchmark™, cybersecurity training, and free webinars – all focused on empowering public safety agencies and their IT teams to better safeguard our 911 network and resources. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Mission Critical Partners

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Ballistic Armored Protection Backpacks for Students, Travelers, and First Responders

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 2, 2018 -- MERET now offers an innovative product line of M4L Ballistic Armor Protection Backpacks for commuters, students, and first responders.  These products arrive after a number of recent active shooter and terrorist attacks across the globe have heightened the need for greater personal safety for students, travelers, , and first responders arriving to aid the injured.

"The world has changed.  So we've updated our backpacks to provide armored ballistic protection that could save your life if you encounter one of these situations," said Scott Decker, President of MERET.  "It sounds extreme but this is the new reality if you're going to travel, commute, or even study.  Why wouldn't you want the added protection if you're already carrying a backpack?"

MERET recently collaborated with Angel Amor, a leader in ballistic armor technology, to develop a consumer daypack and reengineer their first responder bags to include lightweight armored ballistic protection.  Weighing no more than a typical daypack, their new DEFENDER PRO Commuter Backpack can withstand multiple rounds including a 44 MAG projectile, defending the vital chest area and potentially saving your life, all while carrying your laptop and personal items.

In 2016 there were 385 mass shootings in which 4 or more were injured or killed in the US according to Gun Violence Archive as of Feb 14, 2017. And according to the FBI's study of active shooter incidents between 2000 - 2013, there has been a dramatic rise in active shooter events from 7 in 2000 to over 200 in 2012.  Aside from public fear of these events, the data supports an increased likelihood that more and more people will encounter these scenarios, and the need for added personal safety could be on the rise.
"There are not many ballistic solutions for the average citizen.  The DEFENDER PRO offers a lightweight mobile and portable option for the consumer.  In today's world, threats can occur anywhere," said Officer Brian Brown, Loveland Police Department, Loveland CO.

MERET's OMNI Pro first responder bags also have similar armored protection to allow first responders to advance quicker onto an unsecure shooter scene in order to quickly aid and evacuate the injured.  "Our products have always been used to save lives, now we're hoping to save the lives of first responders  as well, " said Decker.
"Knowing the EMS personnel have ballistic protection allows the entire team to move faster and more secure in an environment that might not be clear of the threat," said Brown.

MERET, an acronym for Medical Emergency Response Equipment and Technology, produces professional response bags and equipment for emergency markets, fire, police, and the military, and is a trusted supplier to the US Government.  To learn more visit or contact Doug Merker, VP of Sales at 877.222.0200 or email at [email protected]

©2018 MERET USA, All rights reserved.  The MERET name and trademarks are the property of Cramer Decker Industries.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.



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