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Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

DHS, CISA to fund project to develop standards for computer aided dispatch systems

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will invest $268,000 to develop standards for Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems used by public safety agencies.

The research project will seek to fix the current inability of first responders to use their CAD systems to electronically exchange information with other CAD systems during a joint emergency response. This lack of interoperability leads to operational inefficiencies that could adversely impact coordinated response to an incident.

The project will be managed by S&T’s First Responders and Detection Program on behalf of CISA’s Emergency Communications Division. Its goal is to create a resilient public safety CAD-to-CAD ecosystem that enables an efficient response to regional, multistate, or national events.

In the first phase, the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute will bring together public safety practitioners and CAD solution providers to evaluate specifications, promote the development of standards-based CAD interoperable solutions, validate methodologies, and conduct pilot tests.

“This project highlights the critical partnership with public safety to embrace emerging technologies and find solutions to improve interoperability for CAD systems, enabling efficient response operations across the Nation,” Billy Bob Brown Jr., CISA executive assistant director for emergency communications, said. “Every second counts.”

If the initial project successfully develops CAD interoperability standards, a 14-month second phase could be activated by the DHS. In this phase, IJIS and its collaborators would conduct solution testing to ensure the viability of the developed standards and plan for commercialization of the solution. If exercised, this option would make the total award $731,667.

“This IJIS-led project will help push the development of CAD interoperability standards across the finish line, resulting in greatly improved emergency response capability for the more than 6,000 public safety Emergency Communication Centers nationwide,” Norman Speicher, the program manager in S&T’s First Responders and Detection Program overseeing the CAD2CAD project, said.