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DHS Funds Project to Create CAD Interoperability Standards

Department of Homeland


DHS Funds Project to Create CAD Interoperability Standards

The Department of Homeland Security has earmarked $268,000 for the development of standards for the computer-aided dispatch systems used by public safety agencies.

The project will be a partnership between the DHS Science and Technology Directorate's First Responders and Detection Program and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's Emergency Communications Division, Homeland Preparedness News reported.

CAD systems are used by dispatchers, call-takers and 911 operators to record incident calls, identify the status of responders on the field and effectively dispatch personnel, according to the DHS website. 

Through the “CAD2CAD” project, the DHS aims to allow first responders to use CAD systems to electronically communicate with other CAD systems during a joint emergency response. 

Officials said the lack of interoperability creates operational inefficiencies that could negatively impact coordinated responses during incidents. 

Previous attempts to develop custom interfaces to improve interoperability proved too costly to develop and maintain, the department said.

CAD2CAD will be spearheaded by the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, a Virginia-based nonprofit alliance working to promote technologies in the public sector.

Norman Speicher, program manager in S&T's First Responders and Detection Program, said CAD2CAD will greatly improve emergency response capabilities for more than 6,000 public safety emergency communication centers.

“This IJIS-led project will help push the development of CAD interoperability standards across the finish line," Speicher added.

If the project is successful, the DHS could activate a 14-month second phase in which the collaborators would ensure the viability of the standards and plan for the commercialization of the solution. The option would raise the award's cumulative value to $731,667.

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