Chicago Awards $74.9M Contract to CentralSquare for CAD

The nation’s largest provider of public safety software and technology has netted a massive contract, about a year after integrating with CAD-to-CAD and evidence management systems from other companies.

by / February 14, 2020
(David Kidd)

Having integrated its computer-aided dispatch system with other technologies last year to make it more interoperable, CentralSquare has nabbed a $74.9 million contract to become Chicago’s next CAD provider.

The deal will give Chicago’s emergency responders a single dispatch system for police and fire, according to a news release this week, which described the deal as one of the largest public safety software contracts of the past decade.

As in most cities, Chicago’s current CAD involves separate systems for police and fire. The news release also said that system was deployed in 1995, when people could not have imagined the sorts of digital inputs that are part of a dispatcher’s job today, from mobile phone calls to on-scene photos and videos. CentralSquare said its CAD system will manage all of these inputs, and allow police and fire responders to share information with each other. The system also promises to minimize response times by automatically determining a caller’s location, detecting and alerting the nearest first responder, and prioritizing incidents by urgency.

Among the selling points highlighted in CentralSquare’s news release was the fact that the new CAD system will integrate with Chicago’s existing technology, including security cameras and gunshot detection sensors. This aligns with the company’s strategy in recent years of acquiring or partnering with other public safety technology companies to make its software more interoperable.

For instance, when it acquired Tellus Safety Solutions in May 2019, CentralSquare said it intended to incorporate that company’s CAD-to-CAD communication software, allowing dispatchers to see each other’s incidents and resources and send their own responders to an incident when local units were farther away. In October 2019, CentralSquare teamed up with Genetec to integrate its CAD with an evidence management system that could find and access camera feeds near a 911 caller’s location.

CentralSquare’s news release this week noted that Chicago’s new system will receive automatic updates, so future integrations are possible.

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