talked to David Heffner, a Vietnam War veteran who is founder of CODY Systems, a Pottstown, Pa.-based developer of public safety software. Public safety, law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the company's products to collect, analyze, and share data.

CODY recently announced that Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife's Enforcement Program will use the company's integrated software suite, including Records Management and Mobile Field Reporting modules. CODY Systems has been in business for more than 30 years. How did you wind up developing public safety software?

David Heffner: I served as an officer in the Army Security Agency (ASA) during the Vietnam War, doing work connected to gathering and processing electronic intelligence. When I left the military, I began to put this experience to use in a private sector business geared toward providing records management and intelligence analysis software to public safety and homeland security agencies. Due to my years in Military Intelligence, and my position as chief architect and head of technical operations at CODY, our systems have incorporated the elements of intelligence-led policing since their inception in the mid 1980s. Since that time, they have been refined and honed, again guided by the principles of data management, analysis, and sharing that I learned during my time in the ASA. How has your military background assisted you in serving government agencies?

DH: Not only myself, but other key members of CODY also have extensive backgrounds in intelligence, military, law enforcement and drug interdiction work. This varied, yet focused, experience continues to give our products the perspective that makes them uniquely valuable to police officers, intelligence analysts, investigators, and others in the field of public safety and homeland security. Your company has a long history in the IT world. How has that helped in developing software?

DH: My experience occurred before the age of the cell phone and the microcomputer, but the experiences are the same. In fact, such military, pre-computer experience allows our company to think more outside the current box, and not simply chase the latest bleeding-edge technology just because it is there. Thus, as technology has developed and improved over time, we have been able to create and refine our public safety technology based on core non-technical principles of records management, intelligence analysis and real-time information-sharing years ahead of others in the industry, as it seemed obvious what could be done based on the work that I and other veteran employees have done during our time in the military. What factors make veteran-owned businesses a good fit for working with government agencies?

DH: First and foremost is the leadership that a veteran brings to a company. Certainly, this is more evident when the veteran served as an officer, but it is still present for enlisted personnel, as well. Another key factor that makes veteran-owned businesses, especially those that serve public safety and homeland security, good partners, is the discipline, integrity and code of honor that veterans acquire from having served honorably in the military. When that is extended over to a business environment, the core values, work ethic and straightforward business dealing they bring to the company come through in the people they hire, the quality of the services they provide and the solutions they create. Do you have any other thoughts on what veteran-owned businesses bring to the table as vendors to government?

DH: Simply put, veterans know what it means to serve, and this appreciation comes through in all aspects. When companies owned by veterans do business with government public safety and homeland security agencies, those agencies also know what it means to serve. hopes to spotlight other veteran-owned businesses that serve government agencies. Please provide contact information for the businesses to

Part 1: Veterans continue serving their country as vendors to governments
Part 2: Veterans seeking opportunities as vendors to governments
Part 3: Veterans group calls on state and local governments to support veteran-owned businesses