Dr. Jim Anderson manages the Biological Warfare Threat Medical Countermeasures project at the Deptartment of National Defence (DND). He recently sat down with FrontLine editor Chris MacLean to discuss the challenges and implications of the biological threat and related preparedness requirements.
Many public safety organizations are keenly interested in deriving value from the massive amounts of data currently available to them. In situations were analytic staff are not available to work with this data, or when it makes sense to analyze data in several different ways, organizations are partnering with educational institutions.
Police analytics has been gaining more and more attention (which means FrontLine readers will see more on this topic in future editions). When the Ottawa Police Services began looking into it, they identified some 150 police analytics centers in the United States alone.
Are innovations making cities safer as they get smarter? At a recent conference entitled ‘Smart Cities: Shaping the Future’, held in the United Kingdom, experts from all over the world shared their stories of how technology is being applied in their cities to create a safer environment.
Some readers might remember the 2002 film Minority Report in which an Orwellian future police force would arrest would-be criminals before they committed their crimes.
House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence hears from Communications Security Establishment (19 May 2016)
(FrontLine-edited and officially-translated transcript)
A wildfire in the hills of the Deodoro Region in Rio de Janeiro has raised some concerns for the Olympics. As the winds have been gaining strength, a close eye needs to be kept on this fire.
The men's and women's BMX events are to take place in these hills over the next few days. Nothing has been reported yet as to whether or not the events will be postponed or canceled due to the fire.
Over the next two days, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Brandon, Edmonton and Kingston are departing to participate in Operation Caribbe, Canada’s contribution the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational criminal organizations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.
Canadians should take warning from the events in Paris on 13 November. Too often, Canadians dismiss terrorist threats, warnings and close calls with the usual attitude that “Canada is not important enough to attract terrorism,” or that “it can’t happen here.” That kind of thinking is dangerous. It can happen here, and it has happened here.
In the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, one of the most important realizations by Government was that a society’s crime vulnerabilities were likely national security vulnerabilities with potentially enormously dangerous consequences.
Fear and propaganda are the weapons of war and, increasingly, so too is social media. Indeed, social media has come under attack as it becomes the ideal media outlet for terrorists and extremist groups. Recruitment, training, planning and coordination of attacks, intimidation tactics, and displays of weaponry and power have all been achieved online through avenues such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp.
EM-COP: the New Reality of First Responder Technologies
(2009) Marsh's Chemical Practice has produced a 2009 benchmark study that compares the risk management and insurance programs of more than 220 chemical industry buyers in the United States.Marsh's Chemical Practice has produced a 2009 benchmark study that compares the risk management and insurance programs of more than 220 chemical industry buyers in the United States.
Much activity and improvement in the realm of public safety communications interoperability have occurred since the horrific events of September 11th, 2001. One very promising area is that of wireless paramedicine, the ability to get paramedics, and the health community they support, the information they need when needed.
The United States National Guard serves as a state-federal reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces. Its 450,000 soldiers and airmen serve as “citizen soldiers” – deploying both overseas and domestically, while maintaining full-time civilian professions. With experience in a wide range of operational environments, from Afghanistan and Iraq to post-Hurricane Katrina disaster response, the National Guard has proven instrumental in achieving objectives set both by state and federal authorities.
Great progress has been made since 2007 when Frontline Security first reported on radar surveillance technology designed for use in the homeland by public safety organizations, whose responsibilities include border security, search and rescue, transportation security, and law enforcement.
Typical radar node.
Perimeter security at airports had been of growing concern to the policing community before a program called Airport Watch (AW) was created in 1999. In partnership with the RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service as a crime prevention tool for the Ottawa International Airport, it took about 36 months of dedication – by officers and dozens of volunteers – to develop effective protocols and to standardize regulations.
During the manhunt for the suspected Boston Marathon bombers in April, hundreds of thousands of people listened to police radio communications live over the Internet as hobbyists rebroadcast messages. Listeners then passed on information via Twitter, so that hundreds of thousands more learned how the hunt was proceeding from their computers, iPhones and BlackBerries, in very close to real time.
Where does Canada stand on the topic of CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive) threats – this less likely, most dangerous, and much discussed realm of security and safety threats to humanity? There are a myriad of international treaties and conventions on these matters.
It's More Than Gadgets and Gizmos
In the ‘non lab coat’ world of law enforcement, security and first responders, “technology” is a means to an end and not an end unto itself. That ‘end’, of course, is the successful performance of operational duties, which have enormous public safety ramifications as well as real risk to the men and women who perform them on our behalf.
(Nov 2009) To predict the path and landfall of a hurricane or other coastal storm and assess the damage, emergency managers and scientists need continuous information on the storm?s path, strength, predicted landfall, and expected damage over large areas. Satellite and airborne remote sensors can provide the required information in a timely and reliable way. The lessons learned from hurricane Katrina are helping optimize future approaches for tracking hurricanes and predicting their impact on coastal ecosystems and developed areas.
Normally, when I’m asked to organize an event, I ensure that the subject matter is something in which I have some expertise. I made an exception to that rule earlier this year when the Conference Board of Canada asked me to put together a program for one of their highly regarded security conferences.
National Security – The Sea Matters
Over the last six years, in the changed global security environment, Canadians have learned that National Security is a modern imperative that requires profound thought, development, investment, resourcing, and, most of all, government leadership and action. The new threat environment includes globalized threats such as terrorism, multi-national crime organizations, disease epidemics, and natural disasters – not simply traditional, state-oriented threats.
Dr. David Butler-Jones has presided over Canadian and North American professional associations, and participates in international professional work sessions and has worked in many parts of Canada. As Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, he heads the newly created Public Health Agency of Canada, providing leadership on the government’s efforts to protect the health and safety of all Canadians. After 18 months in this position, FrontLine Security had the opportunity to interview him about his responsibilities with the new Public Health Agency.
The RCMP is one of many key organizations taking potential health threats seriously, and as such, has been working closely with federal, provincial, territorial and municipal health, government and emergency partners.
Beware of an alarming illiteracy in Canada! This problem is evident among health officials tasked with protecting the public. It appears that they have not read, or possibly not understood, the science – we know they have disregarded it. Their lack of understanding is egregious. They also have not called upon the cadre of professionals who are well versed in the science and art of protecting people from disease, particularly airborne disease.
Some analysts have noted inadequacies in certain Canadian national security strategies. The fault may lie elsewhere. Any strategy, no matter how robust and well thought out, will not be fully effective in a policy vacuum, because strategy is derived from policy, or at least it should be. Without a sound policy to provide guidance and context, strategy is like the Maple Leafs at the end of the regular hockey season – lots of activity, but going nowhere.