The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during August were fire alarm and alerting, camera/surveillance and radio. The below word cloud provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.
- Number of public safety bids: 1,133
- Top three states (by number of solicitations released): Pennsylvania (116), California (99), New York (73)
- Key words: fire alarm and alerting, camera/surveillance and radio
Frequency of terms:
- Surveillance: 16 (three state; 13 local)
- Radio: 9 (four state; five local)
- 911: 2 (one state; one local)
August is generally a slow month for procurements as many government officials take vacation and several major conferences are held. Last month proved no exception, with few projects moving forward, and solicitations that were released typically had longer durations between their release and proposals due date. This is likely due to people being out of the office and unable to receive bids.
Despite a decrease in solicitations, the end of July and beginning of August saw numerous projects awarded, including Beltrami County, Minnesota’s jail security electronics project and Dane County, Wisconsin’s logging recorder and related systems procurement. The boost in awarded projects is likely because agencies held off on awarding contracts until the beginning of the fiscal year in July. With budgets so tight, it seems that many cities and counties were waiting to approve awards from RFPs released this past winter and spring until this year’s budget funds were actually in their accounts.
- Arizona released a request for proposals (RFP) for its adult inmate management system (AIMS), which the state hopes will promote its vision to make information more accessible and increase operational efficiency.
- Sarasota County, Fla., released an RFP for a regional radio system consultant to advise on a system that will cover both Sarasota and Manatee counties.
- Albemarle County, Va., released a solicitation for public safety data systems. The project will include mobile data terminals, computer-aided dispatch, a law enforcement records management system, a jail management system, automated field reporting and possibly fire records management and patient care reporting systems.
September should prove more fruitful for vendors awaiting RFPs once everyone settles back at work after summer holidays. Early fall is also when many federal and statewide grants are awarded, including the Byrne JAG Grant. It is likely that many agencies are waiting to find out the results of these grant applications prior to moving forward with larger projects. Successful entities will likely begin planning for these projects in earnest once award announcements are made, as many of the grants have timeframes for when the money must be used. It would behoove vendors to keep an eye out for award announcements and contact winning localities as soon as possible to discuss the resulting projects.