Strategic Partnerships, Inc.


Security concerns bring Texas business opportunities into focus

Mary Scott Nabers - CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Houston Business Journal
publication date: 03/12/2010

Local governments throughout Texas have public safety needs and money to spend.  Federal funds flowing to Texas for public safety initiatives continue to see healthy boosts each year. Funding levels (about $4 billion) have been sustained for 2010 and will most likely be higher in 2011.

Here are some interesting statewide trends:

  • Governmental entities are spending millions to purchase technology such as high resolution surveillance systems and wireless cameras related to remote monitoring. They are also buying night-vision cameras, video motion detection, biometrics and mobile surveillance systems.
  • Increases in security incidents involving government buildings or public land have triggered an increase in security audits and/or the purchase of new monitoring equipment.  
  • Over the last few years, school districts in Texas have added surveillance camera systems on buses, in buildings and around sports facilities.  Schools are also making more purchases of access control and visitor information systems. Bond issues for new and renovated buildings almost always include dedicated funding for security upgrades.
  • Local governments in Texas continue to receive funding for large facility projects related to criminal justice and courts. For obvious reasons, security systems are an integral part of the design of these facilities.
  • Special security requirements are being mandated for transit centers, port authorities, parking facilities, airports, fire and police departments, parks, recreation areas and in city halls.
  • Security and public safety solutions are in high demand in Texas.

Specific Upcoming Opportunities:

The Texas Department of Transportation has an immediate opportunity for a contractor to provide maintenance of security systems and all equipment. The contract will include as-needed repairs, minor equipment additions, upgrades, remedial maintenance, inspection and testing.

Travis County has an upcoming opportunity for a vendor to supply security cameras and video solutions for the Travis County Information and Technology Systems Department, Travis County Clerk and the Sheriff’s Office. The county’s current systems are not capable of remote monitoring or video retrieval. The systems also lack compatibility with other access control systems. The expected solicitation could be released as soon as April.

The City of Dallas hopes to spend $600,000 to install security cameras at city-owned recreation facilities. The project will be funded from a proposed March bond sale.

Texas A&M University is scheduled to hire a consultant to develop a physical security master plan. The completed plan will lead to various opportunities, all of which will be related to improving physical security at the main campus.

The Texas State Preservation Board will upgrade the security system at the Governor’s Mansion, which is currently undergoing renovation. The project is in the design phase and a bid for the construction phase related to system installation is expected soon. The budget for the security package, exclusive of A/E design to support security, is $1 million.

The Department of Information Resources (DIR) at the state, through its Cooperative Contracts program, is expected to issue a vendor solicitation for surveillance equipment and services. A handful of vendors are on the agency’s original cooperative contract and DIR hopes to add several more vendors.

Northside ISD in San Antonio has planned a May election for a $535 million bond package. If passed by voters, the new funding will provide $29.25 million to improve student safety and security. Specifically, the bond proposal includes:

  • $25.5 million to improve campus security at all elementary schools,
  • $3.5 million to install digital cameras on 700 school buses, and
  • $250,000 to replace the Police Dispatch System.

El Paso County is expected to issue an RFQ for a Secure Border Demonstration Project in the next few weeks. The county has approximately $2.88 million to spend. The project will introduce new electronic tracking, reporting and technology to monitor the loading of tractors/trailers and track the movement of goods and the operation of vehicles.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will soon issue an RFP for a vendor to provide and install surveillance camera systems for DART parking garages. The bid document is expected in the next 30 to 60 days.

Firms with safety and security solutions should find Texas government an attractive marketplace.

Mary Scott Nabers is a Contributing Writer for hbj