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Back to Archives | Back to October 2005 Contents 


Police 10-Codes
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced during his remarks at the 112th Annual Conference of International Association of Chiefs of Police in Miami Beach, Florida, on September 27, 2005, that the abolition of the police 10-codes will not be necessary for NIMS compliance.

     Chertoff said, "Under the implementation of the National Incident Management System there has been discussion of requiring the elimination of the 10-code in every day law enforcement communications. However, there was a strong response from the law enforcement community against this proposal, and we listened to your concerns.

As a result, I have decided that NIMS compliance will not include the abolition of 10-codes in everyday law enforcement communications, but we will work to ensure that we have a common language system for multijurisdiction and multiagency events.

I want to assure you that as a department we will continue to listen, continue to work with you, and reach out to this vital community so that your valuable insight and firsthand experience are brought to bear on the difficult challenges we confront."

For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security home page at (

Biometric Entry Procedures at Ports of Entry
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the scheduled expansion of the US-VISIT program's biometric entry procedures to additional land border ports of entry. US-VISIT entry procedures have been operational in the secondary inspection areas of the 50 busiest land border ports of entry since December 29, 2004, and are also in place at 115 airports and 15 seaports.

"By moving ahead with the scheduled expansion of US-VISIT to these additional land border ports of entry, we are taking the next step toward achieving our long-term and comprehensive vision of a 21st-century immigration and border management system," said Jim Williams, director of the US-VISIT program at the Department of Homeland Security.

As part of the process, Customs and Border Protection officers collect digital, inkless finger scans and take a digital photo of the visitor. To date, more than 38 million international visitors have been processed through US-VISIT at air, sea, and land border ports, and more than 850 criminals or immigration violators have been denied admission to the United States with the help of US-VISIT procedures.

US-VISIT is part of a continuum of security measures that begins overseas and continues through a visitor's arrival in and departure from the United States. It incorporates eligibility determinations made by both the Departments of Homeland Security and State. In many cases, US-VISIT begins overseas, at the U.S. consular offices issuing visas, where visitors' biometrics (digital finger scans and photographs) are collected and checked against a database of known criminals and suspected terrorists. When the visitor arrives at the port of entry, the same biometrics are used to verify that the person at the port is the same person who received the visa.

NIMS Compliance and Day-to-Day Operations
Must organizations use National Incident Management System (NIMS) concepts and principles in day-to-day emergency operations or only during major incidents involving federal participation?

The requirement to adopt and implement NIMS and ICS means NIMS and ICS for incident management every day. Those who don't are not NIMS compliant.

The intent of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5, which ordered the development of the NIMS, is clear: "The objective of the United States Government is to ensure that all levels of government across the Nation have the capability to work efficiently and effectively together, using a [single, comprehensive] national approach to domestic incident management."

The point is that all responders at all levels use the same organizational structures, terminology, procedures, and systems all the time. The idea is to achieve interoperability among jurisdictions and disciplines. Those who do not train for, exercise, and use NIMS and ICS in their day-to-day operations will not be able to integrate their activities into a system they do not know, haven't practiced, and don't use.

To underscore the importance of the nationwide adoption of NIMS, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has directed that all federal preparedness assistance to states and local jurisdictions be tied to compliance with the requirements of NIMS. Beginning Oct. 1, 2005, all recipients of federal preparedness funds must adopt and use NIMS as a condition for the receipt of fiscal year 2006 preparedness assistance funding. This does not just include funds from the Department of Homeland Security; it includes preparedness funds from all federal departments and agencies, although there is no linkage between post disaster assistance funds and NIMS compliance. Specific preparedness grants will outline the requirements for eligibility in the grant language.

A preliminary list of affected federal preparedness grant programs is listed on the NIMS Integration Center's Web page at ( The NIMS Integration Center has made this preliminary list available to help state and local entities identify funding streams that may be affected in connection with NIMS implementation requirements. The listing should not be considered a definitive list of federal preparedness grants and agreements. Questions? Ask the NIMS Integration Center at ( or 202-646-3850.

GJXDM National Virtual Help Desk Goes Live
The IJIS Institute has established the GJXDM Help Desk and it is available to users via the Internet. The help desk serves government and industry computer solution developers who are working on implementing the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM). More than a conventional help desk, the GJXDM help desk contains a significant knowledge base users can access on the Web and then submit unanswered questions via the Web, e-mail, or telephone.

The help desk is staffed in three levels of response. Tier 1 is staffed directly by the IJIS Institute to provide the basic responses to questions and build the knowledge base in addition to managing the project. Specific domain expertise is available as tier 2 support from the National Center for State Courts and from Search, the national consortium on integrated justice. Further support from technical expertise of IJIS Institute member companies and the Georgia Tech Research Institute is available for tier 3, or the most difficult, technical questions.

The goal of the GJXDM help desk is to respond to developers within 24 hours whenever possible. The operation will keep open hours of 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time to ensure service to the west coast during afternoon hours.

The GJXDM help desk project manager, Ashwini Jarral, reports that the intent is to grow the knowledge base to the point where developers can get their questions answered without submitting a problem report but to never let a developer starve for answers to pressing questions. The objective is to keep the staffing level in place until the knowledge void has been filled.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) started the project as begun by the IJIS Institute and funded most of the planning effort. Once plans were in place, the U.S. Department of Transportation provided additional funding to ensure that the help desk will assist developers in getting questions answered about the exchange of information between intelligent transportation systems and public safety communications centers or computer aided dispatch systems.

The XML Advisory Committee of the IJIS Institute is the basic steering committee for the help desk having created the concept of operations and providing significant contributions to the knowledgebase contained in the help desk. Mike Hulme, enterprise system architect at UNISYS, who is chairman of the XML Advisory Committee, said, "This collaborative effort is exactly what we have needed to spread the knowledge about how to implement the GJXDM in order to accelerate the implementation of this important standard throughout the nation."

The fundamental idea of creating such a virtual help desk was originated in the GJXDM Training and Technical Assistance Committee (GTTAC), a consortium of service providers that attempt to provide a consistent educational and support service to developers to encourage adoption of the GJXDM in ways that ensure interoperability. GTTAC is an adhocracy formed at the encouragement of BJA, and has been actively engaged in national training efforts.

The software supporting the GJXDM Help Desk is provided by Right Now. The Center for Advanced Defense Studies assisted in the development of the GJXDM knowledge base.

The IJIS Institute is a nonprofit company formed by the information technology providers who work with local, state, tribal, and federal governments to improve information sharing among public safety and justice organizations. Over 130 companies are affiliated with the IJIS Institute, and members volunteer to serve on important national committees and work groups in order to advance the state of the art in information sharing in justice systems.

For more information, call Paul Wormeli, executive director of the IJIS Institute, at 202-628-8615, or write to him at (

Managing Parkinson's:
Straight Talk and Honest Hope

Mike Shanahan, IACP life member and former chief of police at the University of Washington in Seattle, retired from active duty law enforcement after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1993. IACP members who know Mike are not surprised to learn that he has taken what could be considered a disadvantage and turned it into an opportunity to help others.

Shanahan has co-chaired a DVD initiative to help others to learn more about Parkinson's disease. The DVD, "Managing Parkinson's: Straight Talk and Honest Hope," provides personal accounts of experiences and challenges facing those afflicted with Parkinson's and identifies successful initiatives that improve patients' quality of life.

In the last several years a number of high-profile people have raised the level of awareness surrounding Parkinson's disease, which afflicts 1.5 million Americans (another 3 million display symptoms). Among the most recognizable patients are Muhammad Ali, the Reverend Billy Graham, Janet Reno, and Michael J. Fox. Pope John Paul II was a Parkinsonian.

Parkinson's research receives much media attention because many in the medical community believe a cure or major breakthroughs are at hand.

"Managing Parkinson's: Straight Talk and Honest Hope" demonstrates the value of user-friendly digital communications technology for managing a major chronic disease. Families and close friends can share the DVD viewing experience together in a meaningful way. In most cases this can be done in the supportive environment of their own homes.

The complimentary DVD is designed to carry a message of honest hope. Some patients who are featured in the video report feeling confused and isolated after diagnosis. Even though there are support groups and resource centers available, few want to start off by going public, as that leads to other challenges, not the least of which is "telling the boss." The video sets out to answer questions frequently asked by those touched by the disease.

The DVD stresses the message that a Parkinson's diagnosis doesn't mean the patient's life is over. On the contrary, this diagnosis may represent a first step toward improved quality of life through medication, diet, and exercise to effectively manage the disease. The DVD is a comprehensive guide to maximizing quality of life in the face of this chronic illness that affects families, friends, coworkers, and the community at large.

Law enforcement executives can use this DVD to reach out in community programs to develop relationships with the citizens and community groups helping Parkinsonians.

Michael Shanahan served in several capacities during his tenure with the IACP, including general chair of the Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, co-chair of the Private Sector Liaison Committee, and member of the IACP Executive Committee. He was active in Law Enforcement Exploring and hosted an Exploring conference at the University of Washington. Mike is also active in civic projects and in 1982 he cofounded Rotary First Harvest to get surplus produce to the needy, a program that raised 100 million pounds of produce and is still going strong today.

To obtain a free copy of the "Managing Parkinson's" DVD, please visit (, or send an e-mail message to (



From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 10, October 2005. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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