Firm says homeland security boosts public safety, justice spending

State and local governments will spend at least $8 billion on information technology initiatives in the public safety and criminal justice vertical market in 2003, according to the market research and consulting firm Input Inc., Chantilly, Va.

Driven by the need for homeland security initiatives, this vertical market will account for more than 20 percent of total state and local IT spending, Input said Nov. 1.

State and local governments are focused on purchasing technology that will allow them to create networks for communications among public safety and criminal justice departments, said Meredith Luttner, Input's manager of state and local database services.

Interoperability among these entities has always been important, but since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it has become absolutely crucial, Luttner said.

Public safety departments will spend most of their IT dollars on networks and systems that allow agencies to communicate with each other. Criminal justice agencies will spend their funds primarily on software systems that allow consolidated information storage and sharing among agencies, according to Input.

A significant number of public safety and criminal justice projects will be funded by grants from the federal government, especially in the area of homeland security.

Luttner said: "To capture part of the large IT opportunity in this vertical market, vendors need to follow the flow of money from the federal government to state and local organizations."

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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