Magazine article National Defense

System Gives Nationwide, Real-Time Security Threat Updates

Magazine article National Defense

System Gives Nationwide, Real-Time Security Threat Updates

Article excerpt

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

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

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

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

"The common operating picture eluded us for a long time," Chavez said. …

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