Month: January 2022

Leveraging Open-Source Intelligence for Preventative Public Safety Purposes

In response to topics covered at the 2021 Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) Virtual Symposium, the Training and Exercise Team received many requests for follow up presentations. These requests resulted in the creation of the 2021-2022 MDERS Webinar Series.

One of the requests from the MDERS stakeholders was for a follow-on conversation that elaborated in greater detail topics discussed during the 2021 MDERS Symposium. In response, on October 6th, 2021, MDERS hosted the Leveraging Open-Source Intelligence for Preventative Public Safety Purposes webinar in partnership with the New York Police Department (NYPD) Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) Global Trends & Developments Team. The event was attended by 37 stakeholders, representing 25 agencies and numerous disciplines throughout the NCR and the State of Maryland.

NYPD Intelligence Analysts briefed National Capital Region (NCR) stakeholders on current threat assessments for global terrorism and mass violence. They also expanded on topics including racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, leveraging intelligence by law enforcement, and developing event threat assessments. NYPD utilized recent cases studies, including the January 6 events at the Capitol, to further assess how these concepts should be applied to real-world events.

MDERS collected evaluations from the participants at the end of the webinar to assess the content discussed and to inform future training opportunities. Stakeholder comments from the Leveraging Open-Source Intelligence for Preventative Public Safety Purposes webinar include:

  • “I learned about catalytic events and how these events may motivate a malicious actor, who may or may not have pre-existing ties to an extremists’ group or ideology.”
  • “The most valuable part of this training was learning about the available tools for public and private sector, about the catalytic events vs. reactive violence and about the different extremist groups.”
  • “Each presentation flowed very well into the next presenter and was all relevant without the speaker’s content duplicating. I thought it was great.”
  • “The most valuable part of this training was learning about the coordination and facilitation of the of sharing of open-source intelligence with the appropriate agencies to assist them with their missions, how to utilize appropriate intelligence information in planning efforts, and how to leverage available tools to assist public safety agencies carry out their mission.”

MDERS will host the second webinar in this training series in early 2022, which will focus on cyber threats and their impacts to homeland security and public safety.

For more information on future webinars and other training opportunities, please contact Hannah Thomas at

Maryland-National Capital Region Stakeholders Explore Innovative Solutions to Emerging Threats

In a time of constrained resources and ever-evolving threats across  the homeland security enterprise, utilizing emerging technology to overcome capability gaps remains a challenging process. The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) reserves five percent of its annual budget, to support innovative solutions that meet current capability goals or address emerging threats, as outlined in the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. These funds support the identification, procurement, implementation, and evaluation of novel solutions through the MDERS Innovation Program.

Maryland-National Capital Region stakeholders are able to submit proposals to the Innovation Program to pilot and evaluate new technologies or other innovative solutions. These pilot programs are limited to a maximum cost of $20,000.00 and a period of performance of 180 days or fewer, as well as compliance with the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant requirements. All proposals for the programs are ultimately reviewed and approved by the MDERS Steering Committee prior to awarding any funds.
The initial year of the Innovation Program, FY20, made possible several enterprise-wide initiatives, including the following:


Situational Awareness Cameras for Law Enforcement Armored Vehicles

This initiative provides video cameras mounted to law enforcement armored vehicles that will live stream video footage to the incident command post. These cameras further enhance situational awareness and inform decision making by providing incident commanders with a real-time view of the incident.


PerSim Augmented Reality Patient Assessment Training System

The PerSim system provides a portable, interactive patient assessment training utilizing the Microsoft Hololens system. This system provides a realistic patient simulation, allowing the trainer to create realistic patient reactions to interventions in real time. The portability of the system provides personnel with the ability to be trained while remaining available for emergency responses.


Augment Training Systems (ATS) Virtual Reality Mass Casualty Triage Training System

The ATS training system provides a portable solution to mass casualty triage training, based on the Oculus virtual reality headset. This tool enables personnel to conduct training on mass casualty triage in any location. The system lets responders experience a large number of divers patients and a variety of scenarios without the use of traditional exercises.


Leader Search Bluetooth Listening Device

The Leader Bluetooth sensors provide structural collapse rescue teams with the ability to rapidly deploy sensors, with an increased range, to listen for trapped victims during a response. The system can be expanded across a wider search area using corded sensors for additional listening capability.


My Emergency Operations Plan (MyEOP) Application

The MyEOP application is a phone-based application designed for healthcare and other facilities to have electronic access to their emergency plans, procedures, and other information in-hand at all times.

For more information on the MDERS Innovation Program, please contact Mike Ryman at Michael.Ryman1@Maryland.Gov.