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Deltek pulse: Justice/public safety and homeland security November review

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during November were camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio. The below word cloud provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,383
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (130), Pennsylvania (118) and Texas (81)
  • Keywords: camera/surveillance, fire alarm and radio

Frequency of terms

  • Surveillance: 32 (seven state; 25 local)
  • Radio: 15 (four state; 11 local)
  • 911: 6 (three state; three local)

Number of opportunities by location 

  • State: 573
  • County: 387
  • City: 305
  • University: 22
  • Other: 96


  • Public safety software suites continued to trend in November with several localities releasing solicitations for these technology systems, including Forsyth County, Ga., and College Station, Texas
  • A lack of funding continues to hamper projects across agencies and technological requirements. Unfortunately, many localities do not believe the situation will improve much in the next year
  • Radio projects continue to move forward in many locations with solicitations planned for release in 2014. The majority of these projects will be P25-compliant

Notable projects

Analyst’s Take

November saw a sharp rise in the number of solicitations released compared to October.  In total, 306 more justice and public safety solicitations were released. Despite the holiday, many of these solicitations were released toward the end of the month; however, many of them also have longer-than-usual timeframes for response, with many proposals not due until well into January. This trend occurred across all JPS procurements, particularly for radio-based technologies.

Many localities and states that were among the first wave to upgrade their radio systems when the narrowbanding requirement was released nearly 10 years ago are now in need of system and equipment upgrades. This has led to solicitations being released for system and equipment upgrades – a trend that is likely to continue in 2014.

November also saw an increase in solicitations for systems used by correctional facilities. This is indicative of a larger trend that shows corrections departments increasing their reliance on technology and moving forward with technology projects such as electronic monitoring, inmate phone systems and larger jail/case management systems.

Vendors should keep in mind that, in many cases, it is no longer sufficient to simply fulfill police departments’ technological needs. It is also essential to provide fully integrated solutions capable of tracking the full chain of custody from arrest through sentencing and incarceration. Vendors who are not in a position to provide fully-integrated solutions should begin building teaming relationships with other vendors to ensure their proposals are as strong as possible.

Deltek pulse: justice/public safety and homeland security November review

Deltek pulse: justice/public safety and homeland security November review

The most common technologies and services procured across states and localities in October were fire alarm and suppression systems, consultants for all types of projects and radio systems. The word cloud below provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency. 

  • Radio System: 4 solicitations 
  • Consultant: 7 solicitations 
  • Fire Alarm or Suppression Systems: 26 solicitations

In November 2011’s recap blog, Deltek reported on two major contract awards in the justice and public safety market: one for a consultant for Dallas’ P25-compliant radio system, and one for Arlington, Va’s computer-aided dispatch/records management/comprehensive integrated justice system consultant. Deltek anticipated solicitations being released in the next year for the resulting systems, and we were half right. Arlington did in fact release a solicitation for its integrated suite of police applications, for which proposals are currently under evaluation. Dallas, on the other hand, placed its entire radio system project on hold as it reassesses how to move forward. The county is not providing further information on what specifically is being reconsidered.

This November was fairly devoid of consulting projects as cities and counties focused more on systems-based projects. Radio projects are still popular, however, as all levels of government race to meet the narrowbanding deadline. Portland, Ore., release an RFP for a public safety voice communications system, and LA County has announced plans to sole source the rebanding of its countywide integrated radio system to Harris Corporation. Davidson County, N.C., confirmed its intent to move forward with implementing a trunked radio system once funding becomes available. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is also waiting on funding before proceeding with its P25-compliant 800MHz radio system project. The consultant hired in 2010 recommended moving ahead with the project immediately; however, due to the city’s signification budget constraints, it will likely not be funded until 2018.

This lack of funding for radio systems and other projects seems to be a significant trend across all levels of government in the U.S. The Florida Department of Education has placed an access control and camera system on hold due to lack of funding, and Colorado’s Office of the Governor has to put its microwave network assessment consulting project on hold for the same reason. Forsyth County, Ga., has been seeking funding through numerous grant sources for several years to fund its thermal imaging cameras project, though no money been received at this point. 

Analyst’s Take

The lack of available grant funding also seems to be a trend, not just for November, but throughout 2012. The longer austerity measures are implemented across the country, the more commonplace this situation will become. Governments can no longer assume funds will become available when their budgets fall short. Vendors should begin expecting lengthier timelines for projects to give agencies additional time to find funding.

Though good news seems to be scarce, not all is lost. Many agencies are moving forward with projects, particularly those that have been in the works for some time. For example, Missoula, Mo., released three long-awaited solicitations in November, for mobile data computers, a mobile digital video system, and physical security electronics for the police department. This suggests that governments are willing to proceed with projects once they are completely planned out and everything has been finalized. Still, the financial constraints faced by nearly all of the states has not stopped some from going through the time and expense of releasing solicitations, only to have them canceled with the announcement that they will be rebid. As reported by Joanna Salini earlier this month, Maine found itself in this situation with its next generation 911 system. Vendors should keep an eye on projects that have been canceled after already reaching the solicitation stage, as the majority of those will be rebid at a later time, often with similar specifications.


Deltek Pulse: Justice/Public Safety and Homeland Security November Review

November was a slow month for procurement within the homeland security and justice and public safety (JPS) verticals. The word cloud below provides a graphic representation of the words most commonly found in this month’s solicitation titles. Equipment, maintenance, services, police and security were all popular topics. 

  • Number of Public Safety Bids: 413
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California, Texas, New York
  • Top three keywords: Equipment, Services, Security

November 2011 RFP word cloud:


Several states and localities made moves to award large and long-awaited contracts. The city of Dallas chose RCC Consultants as its P25 Compliant Radio System Consultant, though contract negotiations are still underway and a final value is yet to be determined. Arlington, Va. awarded a contract to Deltawrx for a Computer-Aided Dispatch/Records Management/Comprehensive Integrated Justice System Consultant. It is likely that additional follow-up solicitations will be released for both of these projects in 2012 once the consultants have completed their studies and recommendations. 

Another large project awarded was for the Washington State Patrol’s Statewide Public Safety Radio Equipment project. The Washington Department of Enterprise Services released an announcement on November 8 stating the intent to sole-source this project to Motorola Solutions. Several other jurisdictions also focused on radio systems in November, including the state of Nevada, which has projected releasing a solicitation for a 700MHz Broadband Network in the first quarter of 2012, and Warren County, Ohio, which released a request for proposals (RFP) for its own radio system. A contract is expected to be awarded in this month. 

Surveillance projects were also popular last month, as exhibited by the word’s prominence in the word cloud.  These systems were primarily in the form of closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring systems, though also in the form of red-light monitoring cameras. Washington County, Minn., contracted with Paulson and Clark to consult on which components need to be replaced in the Law Enforcement Center’s current CCTV system and help the county develop specifications for a future solicitation. New Smyrna Beach, Fla. recently purchased nine surveillance cameras to be installed throughout the city through the use of a federal grant provided to the police department. The city hopes to expand the project once funding is secured and the current cameras have been up and running long enough to determine if there are any repairs needed. 

Along with surveillance opportunities, there has been a slow increase in the use of analytics software by public safety agencies nationwide, as covered by Sr. Analyst Jeff Webster in his blog on predictive policing trends. Police, sheriffs and other departments use this software to help them determine which areas oflocalities historically have the highest crime rates so that a department can target its resources in those areas, be it through increased officer presence or a camera-based surveillance system. Both the Texas Department of Public Safety and the city of Chicago released requests for information (RFIs) for crime analytics software in November. While the release of an RFI doesn’t obligate a department to pursue a project in the future, it shows serious interest in improving the ability to predict where crimes are likely to take place in an effort to prevent them. 

Analyst’s Take:

Overall, there were only a few JPS hot topics in November. The primary focus of justice and public safety institutions over the past few months has involved next generation 911 and radio system upgrade projects, which were fairly absent last month; or in the case of radio systems, involved awarding and moving to close certain aspects of the projects. This is likely due to the fact that as the narrowbanding deadline of January 1, 2013, approaches, many localities have already purchased any required new systems and equipment and have switched their focus to ensuring these new systems work effectively and cover all of the required areas.

While it is too soon to determine if the increased number of localities expressing interest in predictive policing and analytics software (and the related increase in surveillance equipment) will be a sustained trend, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. As police departments begin to receive better information on where certain types of crimes take place, vendors should pay close attention to where the data and information gathered through this process is posted and begin to sift through it as quickly as possible. This data will likely contain numerous opportunities, and if vendors can approach a police department with a solution before the department has fully realized the problem, they are likely to substantially increase their overall business.