• Posted On: October 14, 2014

Municipalities that look to their citizens to get involved in making the community a more livable place are embracing technology to assist in their efforts. While enforcement should include fines for people who violate city ordinances, equally important are the efforts made to bring area residents into the mix as part of the solution.

One of the most frequently occurring events for county and city organizations looking to improve their environment involves cleaning up trash, weeds and any other eyesore that afflicts the neighborhoods. These events are usually organized through committees, mostly made up of volunteers who get local clubs to sign up to cover specific areas of the city. While these efforts don’t require much in the way of technology, there are other areas where technology can be of great assistance.

Code enforcement departments are often running behind on cases as they cover everything from residential inspections, neglected yards and vacant lots, junk that accumulates within view of the public, to garbage and everyday debris that makes communities unsafe and unattractive to new and existing residents. However, code enforcement departments that embrace the involvement of residents can often find themselves better equipped to tackle the various code enforcement tasks.

Most code enforcement officers are simply trying to protect the health, safety and welfare of the local citizens. Unfortunately, they’re often equipped with little to no modern technology as they go about their daily tasks. For instance, some officers are carrying paperwork with them into the field, checking off their inspections with forms on a clipboard, returning to the office to manually enter the data into an archaic system that slows the process. It’s easy to see why they get so behind on their caseloads.

For code enforcement departments who have embraced technology, they are using handheld devices to electronically enter their information that can be sent immediately to the appropriate parties back at city hall or the county courthouse. They don’t need to carry files into the field because the information is available in digital format on their handheld device. They can open cases and close them – all from the field. Furthermore, these communities are also giving the citizens an electronic tool to be part of the solution. Using a citizen mobile access app, citizens can take pictures, include GIS information and file their own reports that go directly to the code enforcement office.

When citizens are given the right technology, they are assisting government workers in locating problem areas. The right technology also allows citizens to be kept in the loop regarding the progress of their case. Communication between the government entities and the citizens often lacks, which creates a feeling of detachment, mistrust and unhappiness. But when the two bodies are connected through the citizen mobile access app, the communication issues are remedied and the community is a cleaner, safer place to live.

Comcate has developed a citizen mobile access app that has received tremendous praise from governments and the citizens who are using it. Citizens can use photos and notes to illustrate their local issues; the location can be automatically assigned with GIS integrations; and the status is updated and can be checked through the smartphone at any time. Get your community behind you by contacting us at Comcate today.

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