Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When It RAINS...

...people in Oregon pay attention.

RAINS stands for Regional Alliances for Infrastructure and Network Security. Its purpose is to facilitate the timely exchange of essential information from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Unlike some systems, RAINS includes but does not depend on public safety agencies for its operation. It is a public-private partnership to enhance public safety.

The RAINS Fact Sheet provides an overview, but much more information is available by going to the RAINS website and clicking on any of the links.

The April 25, 2006, Christian Science Monitor article authored by Aaron Clark and headlined Oregon emergency system helps deploy responders - from police to mall guards offers a readable explanation of some of the varied RAINS applications. For example, Multnomah County's manager for probation and parole uses RAINS to selectively notify authorities such as school principals when a person has been released from prison or poses a threat.

RAINS is controlled by local participants, not national authorities. Because RAINS includes private sector users, not just "official" public safety agencies, the potential usefulness is expanded. Unfortunately, some agencies have chosen not to participate. The Christian Science Monitor article said, "Despite praise from homeland security experts, RAINS still encounters institutional resistance because of the reluctance to share information and hook up the technology. For example, the Portland police department has not linked to the system."

RAINS is an innovative program that benefits small communities as well as large. Hopefully some day we'll see something like it in northern Idaho.


Anonymous Gary Cuff said...

Mr. McCrory,
Did you receive my response to your question to the Sheriff's website?
Gary Cuff

8:11 AM, April 26, 2006  

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