Chicago Signs $74.9 Million Contract for CentralSquare Computer Aided Dispatch Software

The partnership enables Chicago police and fire departments to seamlessly share critical information during emergencies, cut response time

CentralSquare, the public safety software company, announced today that it has signed an agreement valued at $74.9 million with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) for Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Mobile and Analytics software. The agreement is one of the largest deals in public safety software in the past decade and comes at a critical time when across the United States first responders are dealing with 30 times more active shooter incidents since 2000, a 400% increase in drug overdoses since 2000, and over $23 billion yearly in losses from fire emergencies alone.

CAD software enables dispatchers to send first responders to an emergency incident as quickly as possible. Chicago’s current legacy emergency dispatch system was initially deployed in 1995. Since then, the sheer complexity of input that an emergency dispatcher receives has dramatically increased – including most calls now coming from cell phones and callers sending text messages to 911 centers and providing photos and videos of the incident. This has created a need to deploy a new, state-of-the-art dispatch system. CentralSquare’s CAD system seamlessly handles all of these digital inputs, automatically locates the cell phone caller’s location, precisely detects the location of the nearest first responder, smartly prioritizes which incident is most urgent, and ensures the lowest response time for each critical emergency. A one-minute decrease in emergency response time in Chicago can enable first responders to save up to 2,500 lives per year.

Currently, Chicago has two separate systems for fire dispatch and police dispatch. Of the top 18 major cities in the U.S., only six have a coordinated system, and all six of them use CentralSquare’s software. Now, Chicago will join the ranks of these six other major cities with a common system, providing both fire and police with access to the same information. This unified view will help Chicago police and fire share critical information, quickly enabling coordinated response that smartly handles all dimensions of the emergency. Further, CentralSquare’s software will integrate seamlessly into the city’s existing systems, from security cameras to gunshot detection sensors, providing every first responder in Chicago with a 360-degree view of every incident, increasing situational awareness and improving officer safety.

With CentralSquare’s software, Chicago will automatically receive comprehensive updates, and the new system will always remain state-of-the-art. Further, CentralSquare’s work with more than 5,000 public safety agencies will continuously inform the ongoing evolution of the software, making Chicago’s dispatch system always up to date and evergreen.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to serve Chicago and its 2.7 million citizens,” said CentralSquare President of Public Safety Steve Seoane. “As a trusted provider with three decades of experience serving major cities across North America, we are honored that Chicago recognized CentralSquare as the right company to work with in the long term. From our proven track record and wealth of experience to having the industry’s largest bench of talent to drive our software development, we’re confident that CentralSquare CAD will be the last dispatch system Chicago will ever buy.”

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