DHS preps next test for sharing emergency info

As states in the Southeast and Northwest press forward with pilot projects for sharing emergency information across levels of government, the Homeland Security Department is moving forward with plans for another test, this time in the Northeast. 

A key addition in the next program will be the inclusion of law enforcement data, said Robert Griffin, DHS’ director of the Support to First Responders and the Homeland Security Group. 

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“One of the things that we require for new pilots is that we’re moving the entire family forward,” Griffin said. Having started with open-source data in the first two pilot projects, “we’ve been able to build community," he added. "We’ve been able to build trust. We’ve been able to show folks that we can do this. As we start to get into the law enforcement data and the classified data and issues of identity management, we’re also moving the entire community forward.”

Although existing partners are looking forward to what comes out of the Northeast pilot project, they’re not waiting to get started on their own projects. Oregon, for example, included data from the National Guard to track its military vehicles. And Multnomah County, Ore., is working to build a viewer for its Sheriff’s Department as well as for public health agencies, which also handle classified data.

“We do find that the classified information is a need,” said Amy Esnard, Multnomah County's geographic information systems manager. “That’s why we need to have all the architecture built as securely as possible.”

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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