Arizona Dept of Public Safety Adds STRmix™ to Forensic Tools –

STRmix™ is a breakthrough for forensic analysts as it can assist investigations using DNA evidence that was previously considered too complex to interpret.

The Scientific Analysis Bureau located in Phoenix, and an office at the Arizona Department of Public Safety is set to begin using STRmix™, a sophisticated forensic software capable of resolving mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret.

STRmix™ has proven to be highly effective in producing usable, interpretable, and admissible DNA results in a wide range of criminal cases, including violent crime, gun, and sexual assault cases, since it was introduced in 2012.

STRmix™ has also been instrumental in helping to solve cold cases in which evidence originally was dismissed as inconclusive, in exonerating individuals in post-conviction cases, and in excluding individuals wrongly associated as the source of crime scene evidence.

(Developed by global leaders in the field, it uses a fully continuous approach for DNA profile interpretation, resolving complex DNA mixtures worldwide. Courtesy of ESR (The Institute of Environmental Science and Research) and Vimeo.)

To date, STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 220,000 cases worldwide, including 83 successful admissibility hearings.

STRmix™ works by running DNA test data through a wide range of probability models, using more of the DNA profile than ever before possible to calculate a likelihood ratio (LR) which is then weighed against coincidence to resolve complex DNA mixtures.

It relies on proven methodologies which are used routinely in computational biology, physics, engineering, and weather prediction.

“Demand for STRmix™ has been extremely high due to its effectiveness in helping to solve crimes and clear caseloads,” explains John Buckleton DSc, FRSNZ, one of the developers of STRmix™ and a Forensic Scientist at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

(Hear directly from John Buckleton on on STRmix™. Courtesy of ESR (The Institute of Environmental Science and Research) and Vimeo.)

The Arizona Department of Public Safety Scientific Analysis Bureau has joined 63 other local, state, federal, and private forensic laboratories throughout the U.S. which are currently using STRmix™ to interpret complex DNA profiles.

Agencies making use of STRmix™ to date include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – who was recognized in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL).

The Scientific Analysis Bureau provides forensic services which includes the scientific analysis of evidence, technical crime scene assistance, secure storage of evidentiary items, training, and expert testimony, to all police agencies in Arizona.

The Scientific Analysis Bureau has four separate regional laboratories: the Central Regional Crime Laboratory located in Phoenix; the Northern Regional Crime Laboratory in Flagstaff; the Southern Regional Crime Laboratory in Tucson; and the Western Regional Crime Laboratory in Lake Havasu City.

The team that created STRmix™ launched a new version, STRmix™ Version 2.8, in late 2020 following nearly a year of extensive development and testing, and features a top-down approach that enables users to set the number of major contributors to a mixed DNA profile in which there is interest, and then obtain the LR only for those contributors.

This approach allows users to tackle more complex profiles faster, and also contains improved modelling and memory usage.

The same team also recently launched two other products:

An update of DBLR™, an application used with STRmix™ that allows users to undertake superfast database searches, visualize the value of their DNA mixture evidence, and carry out mixture to mixture matches, now allowing kinship analysis; and

FaSTR™ DNA, expert forensic software that rapidly analyzes raw DNA data generated by genetic analyzers and standard profiling kits and assigns a number of contributors (NoC) estimate.

Together, STRmix™, FaSTR™ DNA, and DBLR™ complete the full workflow from analysis to interpretation and database matching.

( Courtesy of NicheVision Forensics and Vimeo. Posted on Sep 2, 2020.)

To Learn More, visit

An Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program Banquet Luncheon

American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is entering its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

90% of ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners return to compete in the Annual ‘ASTORS‘ Homeland Security Awards Program, and 100% of ‘ASTORS’ Sponsors have returned year to year to reap the benefits of their participation in the industry’s largest and most comprehensive Annual Awards Program.

2020 was a very challenging year for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the much heralded AST ‘ASTORS’ Awards Winners Presentations and exclusive Luncheon at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC was canceled and rescheduled for 2021 due to the virus.

Mike Madsen, Publisher, American Security Today

However, the 2020 ‘ASTORS’  Homeland Security Awards Program was again a huge success and many new categories were added including a section for COVID-19 Detection and Innovation.

  • The IC3 serves as the FBI’s central hub to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding occurrences of Internet crime

  • IC3 provides the public with a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism to submit reports of suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity and to develop alliances with law enforcement and industry partners.

(Actress Kirsten Vangsness, who plays tech-savvy FBI analyst Penelope Garcia on the show Criminal Minds, is promoteing the awareness of Internet crimes and scams and encourages the public to report suspected criminal cyber activity to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Courtesy of the FBI and YouTube.)

  • Information is analyzed and disseminated for investigative and intelligence purposes to law enforcement and for public awareness.

  • Since 2000, the IC3 has received complaints crossing the spectrum of cyber crime matters, to include online fraud in its many forms including intellectual property rights (IPR) matters, computer intrusions (hacking), economic espionage (theft of trade secrets), online extortion, international money laundering, identity theft, and a growing list of Internet facilitated crimes.

  • It has become increasingly evident that, regardless of the label placed on a cyber crime matter, the potential for it to overlap with another referred matter is substantial.

  • IC3 develops leads and notifies law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local and international level.

  • The Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

  • Blue Campaign works closely with DHS Components to create general awareness training and materials for law enforcement and others to increase detection of human trafficking, and to identify victims.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat with life and death consequences, the enormity of which many of us have never seen before.

  • It is also a scientific challenge in need of innovative solutions and S&T is using every tool at its disposal to join the fight; including harnessing the knowledge of it’s experts on technology deployments, international collaboration, scientific breakthroughs, and support for America’s frontline workers.

  • S&T has focused its efforts on laboratory research and providing valuable resources to inform the broader response community and help keep front line responders safe.

CARD is a centralized location of chemical information for threat materials that can be used simultaneously from multiple locations, as a tool for assisting federal law enforcement with interdiction, prosecution, and reduction of drug proliferation.
  • CARD, a chemical synthesis and chemical informatics centric data system (e.g. boiling point, melting point, toxicity, or spectroscopic information) containing both unclassified and classified data, is accessible from a classified website maintained on a server hosted by the Department of Defense.

    There is a detailed description of how each chemical is prepared to include information relevant to each step, the reagents and reactants that are needed and the conditions necessary for the reactions to take place, such as time, temperature, mixing—like a recipe.

    • Hoist Rescue Gloves for Aerial Rescue

  • Rescue helicopter hoist operators need gloves to protect the hand that guides the hoist cable during rescue descents and ascents, using a significant amount of force to mitigate the cable swinging for situations from hurricane evacuations and dive rescues to rescuing stranded hikers on a mountain side, missions vary and no two are ever alike.

  • A partnership between S&T and Higher Dimension Materials, Inc. (HDM) resulted in an enhanced rescue hoist glove with increased flexibility, durability, and dexterity.

(See the enhanced Hoist Rescue Glove in action. Courtesy of DHS Science and Technology Directorate and YouTube.)

  • The Slash CameraPole is a self-triggering platform with wireless data retrieval to detect and give warning of suspicious activities at the U.S.-Canada border, specifically a cleared stretch of land at the border that is approximately 20-feet wide, 1,349 miles long, and is referred to as the “Slash.”

A pilot program using the Slash CameraPole is well underway in a region of the border known as Swanton Sector, where two Slash CameraPole systems have been installed for several years.
  • This man-made, treeless zone is mandated by the International Boundary Commission and presents a formidable surveillance challenge, against such threats as illegal crossings, drug and illegal contraband smuggling and human trafficking.

  • Using the Slash CameraPole system, Border Patrol has been able to establish an advanced border surveillance capability where none existed before. 

  • Partnering with MIT Lincoln Laboratory and several private companies to create the Slash CameraPole with numerous ingenious features, such as solar panels and a back-up fuel cell system make it independent of the power grid, multiple infrared cameras (two long-range, one foreground, and one base imager with a fisheye lens) mean it doesn’t miss a thing.

  • The Slash CameraPole also employs advanced motion detection algorithms and automated alerts designed to improve classification of targets and lower the chance of false alarms from factors such as wild animals or vegetation moving in the wind. 

  • *DHS S&T Programs have now been recognized in their Fifth Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • The CDC has provided Law enforcement and EMS who must make contact with individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 with guidance to help safeguard their health while performing their duties.

What Law Enforcement Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (Courtesy of Julian Wan on Unsplash)
  • Different styles of PPE may be necessary to perform operational duties. These alternative styles (i.e. coveralls) must provide protection that is at least as great as that provided by the minimum amount of PPE recommended.

  • Law enforcement who must make contact with individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 should follow CDC’s Interim Guidance for EMS

ICE ERO operations target public safety threats, like convicted criminal aliens & gang members, as well as people who’ve otherwise violated immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the US after being removed & immigration fugitives ordered removed by fed immigration judges. (Courtesy of ICE)
  • ERO identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the United States.

  • ERO transports removable aliens from point to point, manages aliens in custody or in an alternative to detention program, provides access to legal resources and representatives of advocacy groups and removes individuals from the United States who have been ordered to be deported.

  • ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of aliens who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of our immigration laws.

    • Federal Risk Management Process Training Program

  • The Federal Risk Management Process Training Program (FedRMPTP), Newly available Online – is Interagency Security Committee certified for Facility Security Officials, Federal Security Supervisors and those involved with Federal facility acquisition, construction, and renovation projects.

The Interagency Security Committee (ISC) was created following the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to address continuing government-wide security for federal facilities.
  • On October 19, 1995, six months after the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12977, creating the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) to address continuing government-wide security for federal facilities.

  • Prior to 1995, minimum physical security standards for non-military federally owned or leased facilities.

    • Modified Infrastructure Survey Tool (MIST) – COVID-19 Telematics Capabilities

  • DHS’s Federal Protective Service (FPS) provides integrated security and law enforcement services–including conducting security assessments and detecting and mitigating threats–to over 9,500 federal facilities. To accomplish this mission, FPS leverages the Modified Infrastructure Survey Tool (MIST), a joint solution developed in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory.

As the police force of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service (FPS) is responsible for protecting Federal Facilities, their occupants, and visitors, ensuring a safe environment in which federal agencies can conduct their business. FPS does this by investigating threats posed against over 9,000 federal facilities nationwide.
  • Argonne and FPS have continuously sought ways to improve the tool’s ability to assess, detect, and mitigating threats, and this year, no threat was more pervasive in this country than COVID-19.

  • To confront the threat that COVID-19 posed to the FPS workforce, MIST was enhanced to allow FPS Headquarters and FPS Management to track and display each federal building affected by COVID-19, and to analyze local hospitals and EMS facilities in relation to federal buildings and office locations.

  • The Federal Protective Service and Argonne National Laboratory have also been recognized in the 2019, and 20188 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Programs respectively.

  • Chief of Media and Community Relations, DHS Science & Technology Directorate

  • John Verrico, who is also the former President of the National Association of Government Communicators, has nearly 40 years of experience as a public affairs professional in federal and state government agencies, working extensively in media, community and employee relations, with significant emphasis in science, engineering and the security fields.

John Verrico, DHS Chief of Media and Community Relations
  • A retired Navy Master Chief Journalist, John’s career has been focused on helping government agencies tell their stories and share important news with the public. He takes special care to ensure government information is accessible and that complex issues are easily understood.

  • As an international speaker and leadership coach, John helps people keep their motivational torches lit so they can face their own ‘monsters.’

    • Kiernan Group Holdings CEO

  • Dr. Kathleen Kiernan is the Founder and CEO of national security, education, risk management and compliance firm Kiernan Group Holdings, Chair Emeritus of InfraGard National Members Alliance, and adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and Naval Post Graduate School.

Dr. Kathleen Kiernan is a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement, previously serving as the Assistant Director for the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) where she was responsible for the design and implementation of an intelligence-led organizational strategy to mine and disseminate data related to explosives, firearms and illegal tobacco diversion, the traditional and non-traditional tools of terrorism.
  • Preparedness without Paranoia® the experience-based training in awareness, preparedness, response and recovery training for active assailant and workplace violence prevention is delivered on a learning management system.

  • GOT Preparedness® (Got Online Training), was built specifically for dispersed and remote workforces and we have trained thousands of individuals domestically and internationally. 

  • She has delivered operational and educational capabilities across the globe and developed a methodological based approach to the resiliency cycle at an individual and organizational level.

    • CEO at True Security Design

  • As the owner and CEO of Pangaro Training and Management, Joseph Pangaro, concentrates on providing the best and most up to date training programs for the Law Enforcement, School and Business communities.

Led by Joseph Pangaro, a veteran police lieutenant and experienced school security director, True Security Designs law enforcement training programs are centered around supporting today’s modern professionals.
  • True Security Design (TSD) law enforcement training programs are centered around supporting today’s modern professionals’ by teaching them vital skills through courses designed to engage and empower its participants.

  • A 27-year veteran police lieutenant and experienced school security director, Lt. Pangaro is uniquely qualified to provide law enforcement training programs that are centered around supporting today’s modern professionals’ by teaching them vital skills through courses designed to engage and empower its participants.

  • Pangaro Training also teaches in police academies and police agencies throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

  • NJCU is one of the few programs nationally in higher education designated an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) per the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and a Cyber Defense CAE per the National Security Agency.

The Professional Security Studies Department is nationally recognized in National, Cyber, and Corporate Security Education and certified by the National Security Agency undergraduate and graduate Cyber Defense.
  • The Department of Professional Security Studies focuses on a student–centered, scholar-practitioner approach to education.

  • It’s mission is to facilitate access, create opportunities and provide a supportive environment for achieving academic success through learning and appreciation of subject matter, professional and personal growth and the development of identified and marketable global and disciplinary competencies.

  • The New Jersey City University (NJCU) Cybersecurity program is an interdisciplinary center for cybersecurity education, training and research, which aims to provide current and future professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to strive and compete within the cyber security community outreach.

  • New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), is under the guidance of Commissioner Deanne Criswell, a former FEMA official and head of OEM for the city of Aurora, CO, who is responsible for oversight and development of the city’s emergency management plans.

Deanne Criswell, the Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department
  • NYCEM regularly tests plans by conducting drills and exercises, and responds to emergencies to ensure that other agencies not only follow these plans, but to foster communication amongst the responding agencies.

    NYCEM also operates the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where city, state and federal agencies join representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors to coordinate complex responses to emergencies and disasters.

  • The agency also developed and runs the Notify NYC emergency alert program, by which citizens can sign up to receive phone and email alerts about emergencies and events happening in their neighborhoods.

  • NYCEM is also the administrator of New York City’s community emergency response teams. Each community emergency response team (CERT) is coterminous with one or more New York community boards.

  • The agency also maintains the Citywide Incident Management System which is based on the National Incident Management System.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boating courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from the fundamental to the advanced, taught by experienced and knowledgeable CGAUX instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  • The agency’s courses (virtual and classroom) are taught by experienced and knowledgeable CGAUX instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

  • They are offered in two modalities: virtual, video conference with CGAUX Virtual PE Instructors, and classroom setting with CGAUX PE Instructors.

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!
COVID Innovations And Many Others!
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has occurred across all fifty states in the America.

With the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the safety and security industries has realized the need to increase innovations to address the daily growing challenges.

As such AST aims to make sure these firms and professionals are reflected in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, so we’d like to encourage you to submit appropriate categories recommendations and include COVID-19 Frontline Professionals in your Nominations to see that these Professionals, Facilities, and Vendors receive the Recognition they Deserve!

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at:

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

For more information on All Things American Security Today, and the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

  • Provides named sources
  • Reported by more than one notable outlet
  • Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos

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