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TechSolutions Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2009
2 pages
This paper describes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) TechSolutions program, which identifies mission capability gaps in the first-responder community and accelerates delivery of emerging technologies.
Established in 2007 as part of DHS's First Responder Technologies (R-Tech) program, TechSolutions is available to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. The program's goal is to develop prototype technologies within 12 to 15 months, in order to meet at least 80 percent of operational requirements. DHS provides up to $1 million per project. It partners with national laboratories, universities, and the private sector on technology development. The program enables first-responder agencies to identify problems with their existing technology or lack of technology through the TechSolutions Web site: http://www.techsolutions.dhs.gov. Each TechSolutions submission is reviewed by subject-matter experts in order to ensure it is a valid capability gap. If a solution is deemed feasible, DHS will work with the first-responder agency in developing a prototype technology to fill the capability gap. Thus far, TechSolutions has completed three projects. These are the FireGround Compass, which helps firefighters reorient themselves in smoky conditions; an ocular scanner that is capable of detecting nerve agents and toxic gases; and a handheld biometric system piloted in the Mona Pass (located between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) to provide timely identification of interdicted immigrants intercepted by the Coast Guard. Two additional TechSolutions projects that have generated interest are the Cylinder Array, a more compact, lighter weight, self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters; and the Dazzler, a handheld, LED-based law enforcement device that helps in neutralizing aggressors with temporary, safe flash blindness effects, psychological discomfort, and disorientation.

Date Published: October 1, 2009