Commentary

G. Thomas Steele, Chief Information Officer, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, State of Delaware

by John Morton

DomPrep's John Morton met with G. Thomas Steele, Chief Information Officer, Department of Safety and Homeland Security, State of Delaware

Delaware’s CIO for Homeland Security discusses his state’s voice and data fusion system, which provides law-enforcement and other homeland-security professionals with a common operating environment for their analyses and command-and-control needs.

DomPrep has divided the 37 minute interview into six segments.

Listen to Audio Segment One Delaware’s Intel Fusion Center – DIAC

The Delaware Information Analysis Center (DIAC), and open-architecture fusion center, updated daily, that links the State’s entire homeland security community. Its derivation from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Project Agile and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SAFECOM program. How the DIAC builds on legacy systems. The goal of establishing a state-wide geographic information system (GIS) standard. Standardizing public safety answering-point (PSAP) communications.

Duration: 10 Minutes 41 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Two DIAC & Public Health Applications

The DIAC as more than a purely law-enforcement system but, rather, one with linkages with EMS and public-health agencies, hospitals (public and private), and other private-sector health care organizations. Linkages for syndromic surveillance – i.e., with the Delaware Electronic Reporting Surveillance System (DERSS). The reach into data available on the regional poultry industry, and a scenario illustrating the State’s preparedness to respond to avian flu.

Duration: 4 Minutes 23 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Three Regional Interoperability

The DIAC interfaces with Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. DIAC’s ability to provide command-and-control resources in responding to a regional crisis. How the DIAC enables officials to determine the types and quantities of physical and human resources at the scene and, in particular, its ability toentify the personnel available and their individual skill sets.

Duration: 5 Minutes 01 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Four Private-Sector Partnering – Industry & Academe

Steele discusses the procedural and technical distinctions between intelligence sharing and information sharing. Delaware’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Delaware State University to coordinate DIAC development with industry. Using the DIAC to exercise scenarios with industry partners as well as public agencies.

Duration: 9 Minutes 23 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Five Implementation Strategy

The implementation strategy through which Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) funds were passed through the state level to local authorities to meet their own fiscal needs, and then pooled to stand up the DIAC. The DIAC as a continuing work in progress that will evolve and expand as technologies and capabilities advance.

Duration: 2 Minutes 19 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Six The Need for a State CIO for Homeland Security

The importance of communications interoperability, and Steele’s view of the vital role played by a state chief information officer for homeland security. The CIO for homeland security as the official responsible for relating priorities to a threat analysis.

Duration: 5 Minutes 19 Seconds

G. Thomas Steele, Chief Information Officer Delaware Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Steele has over 40 years in the Intelligence and Law Enforcement profession starting his career with the Army and National Security Agency. He has retired from the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department and the Alexandria, VA Police Department where he was responsible for technology. After having served as the first civilian Bureau Chief with the Maryland State Police he became CIO for the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. During his career Tom served as a consultant throughout the United States and Canada for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Institute of Justice, the Office of the Attorney General of the United States and industry as well as authoring and speaking on a wide variety of evolving technology topics. He was co-founder of the Law Enforcement Information Managers Section (LEIM) of the IACP which is the largest professional IT organization within law enforcement. He was also a co-founder of federal projects such as the AGILE, ALERT and CapWIN and continues to work on projects of national importance in his current position.