First responders to a major incident include many different agencies. These may include law enforcement officers, multiple fire departments, paramedics, HAZMAT response teams, and possibly even federal personnel such as FBI and FEMA. Often times multiple jurisdictions respond to the incident which causes interoperability issues with respect to communication and dissemination of time critical information. Accurate information from all responding sources needs to be rapidly collected and made available to the current on site responders as well as the follow-on responders who may just be arriving on scene. The creation of a common central database with a simple easy to use interface that is dynamically updated in real time would allow prompt and efficient information distribution between different jurisdictions. Such a system is paramount to the success of any response to a major incident. First responders typically arrive in mobile vehicles that are equipped with communications equipment. Although the first responders may make reports back to their specific home based command centers, the details of those reports are not typically available to other first responders who are not a part of that agencies infrastructure. Furthermore, the collection of information often occurs outside of the first responder vehicle and the details of the scene are normally either radioed from the field or written down and then disseminated after significant delay. Since first responders are not usually on the same communications channels, and the fact that there is normally a considerable amount of confusion during the first few hours on scene, it would be beneficial if there were a centralized location for the repository of time critical information which could be accessed by all the first responders in a common fashion without having to redesign or add significantly to each first responders hardware/software systems. Each first responder would then be able to provide information regarding their particular situation and such information could be accessed by all responding personnel. This will require the transmission of information provided by the first responder to a common central database system. In order to fully investigate the use of technology, it is advantageous to build a test bed in order to evaluate the proper hardware/software necessary, and explore the envisioned scenarios of operation before deployment of an actual system. This paper describes an ongoing effort at the University of New Hampshire to address these emergency responder needs.
This paper describes the results of a collaborative effort between the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the Mitretek Systems (MTS) Center for Criminal Justice Technology (CCJT). Mitretek conducted an investigation into the impact of anticipated biometrically encoded driver licenses (DLs) on law enforcement. As part of this activity, Mitretek teamed with UNH to leverage the results of UNH's Project54 and develop a pilot Driver License Interoperability Test Bed to explore both implementation and operational aspects associated with reading and authenticating biometrically encoded DLs in law enforcement scenarios. The test bed enables the exploration of new methods, techniques (both hardware and software), and standards in a structured fashion. Spearheaded by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and the International Committee for Information Technology Standards Technical Group M1 (INCITS-M1) initiatives, standards involving both DLs and biometrics, respectively, are evolving at a rapid pace. In order to ensure that the proposed standards will provide for interstate interoperability and proper functionality for the law enforcement community, it is critical to investigate the implementation and deployment issues surrounding biometrically encoded DLs. The test bed described in this paper addresses this and will provide valuable feedback to the standards organizations, the states, and law enforcement officials with respect to implementation and functional issues that are exposed through exploration of actual test systems. The knowledge gained was incorporated into a report prepared by MTS to describe the anticipated impact of biometrically encoded DLs on law enforcement practice.