Homeland Security programs are straining local budgets, as more cities are asked to take up the slack for federal tech initiatives
BTC - Reports nationwide indicate the financial upkeep for Homeland Security programs and technologies initiated with a very high price tag are being shifted back onto local municipalities. Munis have been provided lush Homeland Security grant proposal training to streamline acquisition of a variety of expensive pilot technology, impossible for a small city to afford on a depressed municipal budget. Once on the hook, the expense to maintain federal infrastructure is shifted back to the city vaccuuming up resources from local budgets. Cities who find the technology unsustainable may not continue with initial proposal, leaving a trail of non-operable urban blight or face a drained city coffer.
Federal contractors unable to cramm their market wares by law into mass State or municpal budget initiatives will settle for the next best thing, administrative fiat contracts with local law enforcement and emergency departments.
In the case of Real ID, over 25 State drivers license offices will not be implementing federal rules for State licenses. Contractors assured of business contracts nationwide now scramble to cover marketing losses. Police departments are now being pitched on the adoption of federal identity requirements. The ID badges, card security interfaces and database software, translate essentially to a form of Real ID for the police.
See this editorial account from Tim Dees on Making police ID cards secure.
"It wouldn’t be all that difficult to have the state driver’s license-issuing agency also take over police ID cards, using a different design with similar security features. This could also establish a statewide automated database of law enforcement officers so that a query through NLETS could verify law enforcement status from the field. This is especially important in the era of LEOSA, where active duty and retired law enforcement officers can carry concealed firearms nationwide."
The account later indicates tribal residents appointed to federal land can apply for any kind of ID card, absolutely free of charge. In theses case, expenses to manufacture federalised ID requirements would shift the burden right back onto the federal budget.
Paul Henry, a retired Florida Highway patrol officer quipped the move to recover contractor entitlements involving police ID card production are not necessarily a guarantee.
"REAL ID for police ID. That's one I'll not have to worry about, since my retired ID does not expire."
The federal boondoggle may proceed to the nearest TSA checkpoint; which means identity requirements on passengers begin to escalate with Washington D.C.'s own Dulles airport.
Besides Dulles, the experiment will begin Tuesday in Houston and April 23 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The review will last several months, gauging such things as how fast passengers move through the line and how accurate the machines are.
The first 30 machines cost $3.2 million, Soule said. Three companies – BAE Systems Information Solutions, Trans Digital Technologies and NCR Government Systems -- provided the initial machines that were customized for the TSA.
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If you are a Houston resident or are a citizen of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, your two cents can make a big difference. National constituents are encouraged to weigh in, as well.
Send your constituent comments to : House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
ATTN: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee - (202) 225-3816
ATTN: Rep. Pedro Pierlusi - 1 (866) 266-6678
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"What's clear is that we're stuck with the backscatter machines for now. There are no plans to replace them. TSA has said it is working on an upgrade that will replace nude body pictures with generic images, but there's been no word on when that might happen."