Professor Evaluates Technologies for Homeland Security

Posted: June 14, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

Administration of Justice Research Professor Allan Turner has been working as a senior fellow with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is overseeing the Homeland Security Comprehensive Assessment Model (HLS-CAM) and Automated Video Security Technology Demonstration Project.

The operational value of new advanced technologies is evaluated through extensive field-testing to see how they perform in the hands of emergency responders. These technologies include image intensifiers, thermal imagers, biometrics, automated video systems and risk/vulnerability methodologies.

Earlier this year, a DHS-funded project was launched at Mason to test HLS-CAM and automated video systems by running a risk assessment model to assess a major urban university campus and to test how these technologies would operate in the field. The findings will be used to assist in developing guidelines for strategically placing automated video security devices in other locations.

“Our objective is to provide impartial, operationally relevant assessments, validations and other information on responder equipment and systems,” says Turner. “A critical part of that process is to place technology in the hands of emergency responders and work with them to answer some very straightforward questions.”

These questions include how and whether the technologies should be applied; which technologies function most effectively in the field; whether further development of the technologies is necessary; and what the organizational impact of the technologies is.

Turner, who came to Mason in 1999, earned a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California. He previously served as the warden of three prisons, including the high-security federal penitentiary at Marion, Ill., during his career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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