InterAct Public Safety Systems announced a $1.5 million stimulus grant-matching program for public-safety agencies that plan to upgrade their mission-critical communications systems by June 2011. Agencies that apply and are approved for the program can secure matching funds for computer-aided dispatch applications, geographic information systems, mobile law-enforcement software and criminal information systems, said Paul Tatro, the company’s chief sales officer. Tatro said the program’s mission is to help communities improve its technology systems as well as to provide resources to support national efforts, such as PHASE II compliance.

Currently, many public-safety customers want to upgrade technology but don’t have enough money to move forward with projects — even if they land federal grant monies, Tatro said. “So we thought that as a company … we can supplement the rest of it by making a stimulus package available,” he said.

Tatro said the company’s stimulus grant funds are open to any national, regional, state or local public and private entity, including for-profit and nonprofit organizations; faith-based and community organizations; institutions of higher education; tribal jurisdictions; and units of local governments “that support initiatives to improve the functioning of the public-safety system,” he said.

The money would be distributed via a tiered approach and based on the overall cost of a project. It is not a discount on pricing in any way, Tatro clarified. It is a program where if the agency applies for and is accepted, they receive a certain percentage of matching funds for products and solutions. For example, a solution that costs $500,000 qualifies for a 50% discount, he said. For the next $400,000 spent, a 60% match is applied.

The monies provided by InterAct may qualify as matching funds to be used in conjunction with other grant programs, however, federal funds are not required to be considered. But the value of the deal in total must be at least $100,000, Tatro said.

Interested parties must complete an application that includes a narrative about the project, including replacement needs. It must be submitted that with a budget quote and a project start date before June 2011. Applications are being accepted now, Tatro said. Grant funds will be distributed throughout fiscal year 2010.