Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US Secret Service moves tiny town to virtual tiny town: Teaching Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan

Date:
February 16, 2011
Source:
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Summary:
With the help of the US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, the Secret Service is giving training scenarios a high-tech edge: moving from static tabletop models to virtual kiosks with gaming technology and 3-D modeling.

An instructor uses a prototype touch kiosk to move and align 3-D modeled assets with the Site Security Planning Tool.
Credit: United States Secret Service

Chemical releases, suicide bombers, air and subsurface threats: the U.S. Secret Service needs to be prepared to handle these real-life incidents. Training to respond to such incidents, however, has been more theoretical than practical.

Now, with help from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), the Secret Service is giving training scenarios a high-tech edge: moving from static tabletop models to virtual kiosks with gaming technology and 3D modeling.

For the past 40 years, a miniature model environment called "Tiny Town" has been one of the methods used to teach Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan. The model includes different sites -- an airport, outdoor stadium, urban rally site and a hotel interior -- and uses scaled models of buildings, cars and security assets. The scenario-based training allows students to illustrate a dignitary's entire itinerary and accommodate unrelated, concurrent activities in a public venue. Various elements of a visit are covered, such as an arrival, rope line or public remarks. The class works as a whole and in small groups to develop and present their security plan.

Enter videogame technology. The Secret Service's James J. Rowley Training Center near Washington, D.C., sought to take these scenarios beyond a static environment to encompass the dynamic threat spectrum that exists today, while taking full advantage of the latest computer software technology.

The agency's Security and Incident Modeling Lab wanted to update Tiny Town and create a more relevant and flexible training tool. With funding from DHS S&T, the Secret Service developed the Site Security Planning Tool (SSPT), a new training system dubbed "Virtual Tiny Town" by instructors, with high-tech features:

  • 3D models and game-based virtual environments
  • Simulated chemical plume dispersion for making and assessing decisions
  • A touch interface to foster collaborative, interactive involvement by student teams
  • A means to devise, configure, and test a security plan that is simple, engaging, and flexible
  • Both third- and first-person viewing perspectives for overhead site evaluation and for a virtual "walk-through" of the site, reflecting how it would be performed in the field.

The new technology consists of three kiosks, each composed of a 55" Perceptive Pixel touch screen with an attached projector and camera, and a computer running Virtual Battle Space (VBS2) as the base simulation game. The kiosks can accommodate a team of up to four students, and each kiosk's synthetic environment, along with the team's crafted site security plan, can be displayed on a large wall-mounted LED 3D TV monitor for conducting class briefings and demonstrating simulated security challenges.

In addition to training new recruits, SSPT can also provide in-service protective details with advanced training on a range of scenarios, including preparation against chemical, biological or radiological attacks, armed assaults, suicide bombers and other threats.

Future enhancements to SSPT will include modeling the resulting health effects and crowd behaviors of a chemical, radiological or biological attack, to better prepare personnel for a more comprehensive array of scenarios and the necessary life-saving actions required to protect dignitaries and the public alike.

The Site Security Planning Tool development is expected to be completed and activated by spring 2011.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. "US Secret Service moves tiny town to virtual tiny town: Teaching Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110215102844.htm>.
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. (2011, February 16). US Secret Service moves tiny town to virtual tiny town: Teaching Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110215102844.htm
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. "US Secret Service moves tiny town to virtual tiny town: Teaching Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110215102844.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins