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The hawk – eye

Wg Cdr A K Jha (retd)
Wg Cdr A K Jha (retd)
General Manager, Business Development
Security, Government & Infrastructure
LGGI India Pvt. Ltd (An ERDAS company)
[email protected]

<< The present day confl icts demand that security agencies invest in technologies that provide them complete situational awareness. This will go a long way in enhancing surveillance and emergency response capabilities of the state >>

Securing installation, personnel and information is essential to homeland security. To accomplish this, security planning must anticipate intelligent, adaptive adversaries and large scale emergencies that create terror and confusion, resulting in complicating the response by causing multiple simultaneous incidents.

On December 23, 2009, P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs, India, while delivering the 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture, stated, “India, in the twenty-first century, has turned out to be the confl uence of every kind of violence: insurrection or insurgency in order to carve out sovereign states; armed liberation struggle motivated by a rejected ideology; and terrorism driven by religious fanaticism. Never before has the Indian state faced such a formidable challenge. Never before have the Indian people been asked to prepare themselves for such fundamental changes in the manner in which the country will be secured and protected.”

In the past, Naxalite / Maoist/ terrorists/ criminals attacked railway stations, police posts, tourist spots and crowded urban areas in various cities. However, these were considered as law and order problems of the states and not an issue to be dealt with by the Central government. The inability of police forces in dealing with these attacks has been attributed to lack of sophisticated weapons, newer technology and proper training. Since police is the first to reach the scene of such attacks /incidents and is the first to respond, government has become more sensitive to its needs and preparedness for appropriate actions.

Police and the intelligence establishment in the states and the Centre need to adopt latest technology and sensors available.

Intelligence/security agencies are required to learn and orient themselves with new techniques and expertise in collation and analysis of information; and better coordination between them to pursue intelligence leads vigorously to preempt an incident and take timely preventive action.

Modernisation of police force is a priority for states and the Centre. The Central government has agreed under the Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) to provide financial assistance for better infrastructure, training, communications, weapons and equipment to state police. It plans to implement increased computerisation of police stations and development of a countrywide criminal tracking system and databases.

The Central government also intends to provide resources such as closed-circuit television coverage, control rooms and helicopters for better surveillance and immediate response capabilities.

There are several key areas where the Government of India needs to focus on upgrading domestic capabilities. These include the need for computerisation, forensics development, an enhanced border management and coastal security programme, integrated checkpoints and immigration control, in addition to stepping up efforts to address socio-economic and cultural factors related to terrorism.

Home Ministry has outlined a series of measures for revamping India’s internal security architecture and attaining greater synergy in internal security operations:-

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS): With no system of data storage, sharing and access, police stations in the country today are virtually unconnected islands. To overcome this deficiency, central government is implementing an ambitious scheme called the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). This system will facilitate the collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, transfer and sharing of data and information at police stations and between police stations and state headquarters and the CPO.

Community Policing: To encourage community policing, a toll-free service will be established, under which any citizen can provide information or lodge a complaint. The bits of information collected from such different sources can then be analysed, matched, correlated and pieced together to make actionable intelligence.

National Database Grid: Currently, each database stands alone, and the owners of these databases have no access to other databases. As a result, crucial information that is available in one database is not available to another agency. In order to remedy this deficiency, the central government has decided to set up NATGRID, under which sets of databases will be networked to achieve quick, seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and the enforcement agencies.

Integration of resources
Once these resources are integrated, the sheer volume of inputs from alarms, sensors, CCTVs and situational reports can overwhelm a security team and provide a confusing picture of the unfolding situation. That’s why security system must do more than just provide raw information. It must provide for automation, intelligence and interoperability to streamline work process and maximise the protection of people and property.

The solution should put together data from physical security system to make sense of the chaotic situation caused by asymmetrical or conventional threats.

A proven and widely deployed public safety based computer aided dispatch (CAD) system that supports interoperability among local, state and national systems, is used successfully throughout the public safety and security communities.

The solution acts as a force multiplier, enabling decision support that focuses on better utilisation of resources where they are needed most. The common operational picture (COP) lets you detect and track threat to forces and population, create situational awareness, dispatch multi-agency resources and support disposition of forces for managing security and public safety.

Fast track implementation
A few out-of-the-box solutions support the complex requirements of enabling complete domain awareness. At the same time, built on-demand solutions are expensive to develop and maintain. They are often proprietary and require considerable investment for making changes over time.

A configurable commercial-off-theshelf (COTS) system is required to mitigate these challenges. Security suite should contain the basic functionality, standard interfaces, tools for rapid customisation that provide a shortcut to system development and a fast-track implementation. The solution should incorporate the fl exibility needed to support all user requirements as they grow and change.

Support for interoperability is the key for any solution’s effectiveness. It requires integration of wide range of intrusion detection systems – such as radars, sensors, alarms, access systems, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) videos, etc.

Intelligence sharing and system interoperability requires open enterprise solution. Whether it is spanning multiple geographically dispersed sites or crossing jurisdictions, the ability to seamlessly share information is critical.

The geospatial intelligence products and COTS command and control softwares empower the user with a complete decision support system for security and public safety operations, including the tools one needs to quickly prepare, prevent, detect, access, respond and recover – even in unprecedented situation.

An effective solution must be fl exible to meet all requirements of the layered security approach. The solution should support an agile architecture that can be adjusted accordingly to user’s requirements. This architecture should accommodate evolving technology and support the insertion of tomorrow’s innovation when the organisation is ready for them.

Case study

Emergency response at Barack Obama’s Presidential inauguration in US
Formed in 2004, the Office of United Communications (OUC) is responsible for dispatching Metropolitan Police Department as well as Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and public services within Washington, DC. On the day of Barack Obama’s Presidential inauguration, OUC put in place their Public Safety Communications Center (PSCC), from both their new state-of-the-art Unified Communications Center (UCC) and redundant backup facility. Tactically, this allowed District Public Safety Operations to manage large volumes of incoming calls to both 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 (the number for city services and information). More than 300 personnel, including call-takers and IT professionals, were on duty on the Inaguration Day. The volume of calls to 9-1-1 increased by 50 per cent on this day over a regular day, with nearly 6,000 calls for assistance. Of these calls, 96 per cent were answered within five seconds. The 3-1-1 calls were answered in an average of 30 seconds, meeting the target response rate for information and city services queries.

Creating an event zone
As part of the preparation for the inauguration and related activities, OUC used Intergraph®’s (Huntsville, AL) public safety technologies to successfully process the record infl ux of 9-1-1 calls associated with the event. Its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system enabled operators to field calls, create and update incidents, and manage emergency response resources. Its mobile dispatch technologies extended incident management capabilities to remote field and mobile units stationed near the special event area and provided responders in the field with access to the same information that operators at the UCC and PSCC relied on for efficient response.

Additionally, “the CAD map used in the remote and mobile applications provided routing to emergency vehicles, which assisted with event related street closures,” explained Office of Unified Communications CAD Manager James Callahan. The map feature created a special ‘event zone’ around the plaza, parade route and other designated event areas. When 9-1-1 received calls from areas within this zone, the calls were routed to the appropriate remote dispatch event area where they were immediately handled by dispatchers associated with the special event zone. This reduced response time as dispatchers were able to swiftly deploy mobile personnel on foot and bike.

CAD for public safety
The need for emergency response is greater than ever, especially as tough economic times challenge agencies to stretch limited resources. In light of these demands, it is increasingly important to accelerate emergency response with the most efficient and easy to use CAD system. The geospatially powered software seamlessly integrates an interactive, real time map display with call handling, dispatches, records and information management, remote access and mobile data to ensure accurate information to make smart decision when seconds count.