D.C. region to get first responder smart cards

About 200,000 first responders in the Washington region will be issued biometric smart card IDs under a new program soon to be deployed by the Homeland Security Department, in partnership with state and local agencies in the Washington region, Lee Holcomb, DHS chief technology officer, said today.

The initiative will involve police, fire and emergency response agencies in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, Holcomb said at a forum on interoperability held at the FOSE technology trade show in Washington. FOSE is produced by PostNewsweek Tech Media, publisher of Washington Technology.

The new cards will be compliant with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12, requiring computerized data images of two index fingers, among other specifications, Holcomb said.

Holcomb said the state and local agencies will perform the vetting for the smart cards while the federal government will provide the systems.

The initiative is being spearheaded by the department's Office of National Capital Region Coordination, which was established by Congress when it created the department to oversee security for the District of Columbia and 12 suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Additional details were not immediately available on when the cards would be issued.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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