You may remember a few weeks back when Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, issued an array of action directives to evaluate the health and workings of DHS. Well, the directives are in and last week Napolitano went before the House Committee on Homeland Security to discuss "the path forward" for DHS.
There was lots of good news for security manufacturers with a call for improved technology:
It is difficult to think of an area of DHS operation where a greater use of cutting-edge technology would not improve capabilities. Our border security efforts, port screening, transportation security, customs processes, immigration programs, and preparedness and interoperability efforts could all benefit from a strong push to develop new technologies and implement them in the field.
She also discussed transportation security issues.
The review identified a number of areas where risks to transportation security could be reduced. Resources such as explosives detection systems and transit, rail, and port security personnel contained in the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will enable the Department to accelerate the mitigation of risk in these areas.
Also, something I found interesting and evidently I had missed the issuance of this directive, was an evaluation of DHS's role in healthcare surge. I know I'm a little obsessed with pandemic flu outbreak and other healthcare preparedness issues, but I was surprised to see DHS involved in this issue. Napolitano stated that DHS's role would include:
DHS’s supporting role in coordinating response to such an incident, and how the Department’s preparedness and public communications efforts could better facilitate existing healthcare surge capacities.
Also, in case you missed Napolitano on 60 Minutes last night, here's the link (I couldn't get the video to play, but it could be my computer). It was a pretty frightening piece on the drug wars in Mexico, which basically concluded that the Mexican government is out-gunned, out-financed and often working in collaboration with drug cartels. Napolitano voiced concern that the violence will spill over into the U.S. and reiterated some of the points on border security.