DHS to distribute commercial IT to first responders

The Homeland Security Department is preparing to distribute geospatial information-sharing software and other commercial IT to local jurisdictions through its Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP).

CEDAP is operated by the DHS' Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness to help smaller communities that have not received direct federal homeland security grants. Earlier this year, the department awarded technology valued at $8 million to 697 jurisdictions under the program.

Congress provided $50 million for CEDAP in fiscal 2005. Phase II applications for CEDAP grants are due Jan. 13, 2006.

The program provides the technology, along with installation and technical assistance, directly to eligible jurisdictions rather than through a grant program. The offerings include personal protective equipment, rescue tools, thermal imaging, chemical and biological sensors, and risk management software.

In its briefing materials for the IT category, DHS lists eight software products.

These include the geographic information system software and training from ESRI Inc. of Redlands, Calif. According to an ESRI news release, CEDAP winners are eligible to receive four of its products: ArcGIS ArcView 9.x; ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; ArcGIS Network Analyst, and ArcGIS Publisher, as well as three related Virtual Campus training courses. Other commercial IT items on the CEDAP distribution include:
  • Coplink information-sharing and investigative lead-generating products for law enforcement, developed by Knowledge Computing Corp. of Tucson, Ariz.

  • i2 Analyst's Notebook, which is visualization software for investigative analysis produced by i2 Inc. of McLean, Va. and

  • PEAC-WMD (Palmtop Emergency Action for Chemicals-Weapons of Mass Destruction) decision support and incident command software for first responders, produced by Aristatek Inc. of Laramie, Wyo.

The DHS briefing materials also list IT products for advanced vehicle and search and rescue tracking, geospatial tracking and a countermeasures risk analysis software terrorism tool kit. However, manufacturers are not identified and further information was not immediately available.

In an earlier CEDAP round this year, DHS distributed an information-sharing software solution, Digital Information Gateway, and analytic software, VisuaLinks, produced by Visual Analytics Corp. of Poolesville, Md.

The CEDAP program receives advice and guidance from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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