Colin Wood

former staff writer


Colin Wood wrote for Government Technology and Emergency Management from 2010 through most of 2016.

May 12, 2016

Trust a Robot? Think Again

A study finds that humans tend to follow blindly.

June 12, 2015

FEMA's New Data Visualization Tool Maps Where Disasters Hit

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a county that hasn’t faced a disaster at one point, and FEMA’s new interactive tools lay that information out for the public while encouraging preparedness.

June 10, 2015

Police Open Crime Data to Increase Trust with the Public

Opening data is a way to increase public trust, but there’s a lot of work left to be done on behalf of law enforcement.

April 1, 2015

New Orleans Douses Flames With Data

Based on analysis generated by a new initiative, the city's Fire Department will conduct a door-to-door outreach campaign that targets households least likely to have smoke alarms.

March 19, 2015

4 Ways Education Emergency Managers Can Keep Students, Faculty Safe

Mobile platforms and digital technology are quickly replacing paper, but emergency managers still need to stay sharp.

March 11, 2015

Seattle Police Department Plucks Amazon VP for CIO Role

More than 200 applied for the position, but an Amazon executive will fill the role as the Seattle Police Department's new head of technology.

February 17, 2015

Cybersecurity Summit: Obama, Apple CEO Announce Private-Public Integration

The White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection highlighted the state of increasing cyberthreats and news of cooperation that spans sectors in the form of an information-sharing order.

January 29, 2015

Smart Guns: How Close Are We Really?

The Seattle Smart Gun Symposium revealed an ambitious community of technologists seeking to take on the feverish front known as the American gun owner, and unveiled more questions than answers.

November 26, 2014

Anonymous 'Requester' Turns Police Body Camera Programs Upside Down

As citizens nationwide protest following the no-indict ruling in the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, police in Washington state wonder if their public records laws will prevent the adoption of body camera technology that could keep such a confusing scenario from happening again.

November 11, 2014

Ambulance Drones May Save Lives

Will heart attack victims one day see their savior fly in on four small propellers?

October 30, 2014

Your Organization Is on Facebook and Twitter — Now What?

2014 feels like something of a social media impasse. The good news is that big change is imminent.

September 19, 2014

FirstNet Makes Progress, Consults with Maryland

The meeting will be followed by discussions in other states as FirstNet determines what a nationwide first responder communications network should look like.

August 25, 2014

Napa Earthquake Highlights California's Need for an Early Warning System

Researchers keep warning about the need for an early warning system while the project remains under-funded.

August 20, 2014

FINDER Senses Heartbeats Amid Rubble

The new device can detect minute movements and could save lives during the next large-scale disaster.

July 29, 2014

FirstNet Begins State Consultations

The First Responder Network Authority's first in-person consultation is with Maryland on July 29, and the authority anticipates releasing a draft RFP before March 2015.

July 21, 2014

ARPA-E: Turning Innovative Ideas into Infrastructure that Powers the Nation

The primary limitation of today’s energy grid is that it was conceived and developed in an era that had not envisioned a future powered by the sun, wind and data. ARPA-E projects aim to fix that.

May 29, 2014

Could Smart Power Lines Reduce Outages?

Wind moving through power lines can ultimately lead to damaged infrastructure and power outages, but placing accelerometers on the lines could help reduce the risk of mechanical failure.

May 27, 2014

L.A.’s Cyber Intrusion Command Center: A Model for Cybersecurity Governance?

The 24-hour center also actively monitors physical police events, allowing officials to ensure that those incidents are being managed properly.

May 12, 2014

Teri Takai Discusses FirstNet's Challenges

The CIO looks back at her stint with the Department of Defense and addresses what state officials need to know about the communications network in development by the First Responder Network Authority.

April 30, 2014

Is Mexico’s Earthquake Early Warning System a Model for the World?

The Seismic Alert System of Mexico is considered one of the world’s most effective earthquake early warning systems.

April 11, 2014

Will You Find Your Next Job on Twitter?

Some government officials and emergency management agencies are finding Twitter to be a fast, cheap and easy method of advertising job openings.

March 25, 2014

Building 21st-Century Cities Means Taking the Long View

Sustainability is not just intended to mitigate climate change — it’s also about finding ways to be resilient and live alongside the environment.

March 6, 2014

Police App Encourages Officers to Fight Fatigue

A professor and former police officer and others have created an app that alerts cops when they're too tired to continue working safely.

March 6, 2014

Software TIES Law Enforcement Agencies Together

As the big data movement explodes, law enforcement in the Denver region reaps the benefits.

March 3, 2014

Cybersecurity Gets a Boost from the National Guard

The National Guard has a critical role to play in coordinating cyber-resources across federal, state and local governments.

February 21, 2014

MIT Researchers Work to Make Robots Smarter

Robots can do lots of things, but they're still not great at solving problems. But new research from MIT could improve this in robots, especially for search and rescue.

January 7, 2014

Could Chemical Signals Replace Radio in Extreme Environments?

Low-speed chemical messages could prove more effective than traditional technologies in many emergency response scenarios.

January 6, 2014

How Does the Military Use Big Data?

The journey to make use of big data is being undertaken by civilian organizations, law enforcement agencies and the military alike.

December 9, 2013

Hero911 App Aims to Shorten Response Time to School Shootings

A new mobile app could give on- and off-duty law enforcement officers a 60-second head start on the next Columbine or Sandy Hook.

November 6, 2013

Science During Crisis: Group Helps Decision-Makers with Long-Term Strategy

The Department of the Interior’s Strategic Sciences Group prepares scenarios during a crisis that describe possible environmental outcomes.

October 31, 2013

Earthquake Early Warning System Looks for Funding

A bill that passed last month authorized California to look for funding to develop an earthquake early warning system, but the project isn't yet a sure thing.

October 4, 2013

A Common View: Facility Managers Share Building Data with Emergency Responders

Private facilities can share building data with public safety responders via a common dashboard, providing situational awareness in an emergency.

September 26, 2013

Earthquake Early Warning System Coming to California

Following the lead of many countries around the world, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill authorizing an $80 million system that will let people know when an earthquake is about to hit.

September 17, 2013

Domain Awareness Center May Bring Proactive Policing to Oakland

To the dismay of civil liberties activists, Oakland, Calif.'s Domain Awareness Center could unite many disparate security resources from around the city.

Platforms & Programs