• Posted On: September 03, 2014

Fighting blight is a task that most code enforcement departments face on a daily basis. Whether it’s a corner building that seems ready to fall in on itself, parked cars that don’t have a chance of starting again or weeds that spring up around a vacant property, code enforcement officers are constantly tasked with staying on top of blight.

Building inspections are a time-intensive task that requires the bulk of many code enforcement officers’ day. When using the wrong tools for the job, the process only takes longer and costs the city more money while putting residents at greater risk.

Atlanta Reacts to Safety Concerns
The city of Atlanta has its share of blight to deal with. A group of 300 elected officials and city employees gathered recently to address the city’s blight issues. From old tires to empty lots with grass and weeds growing more than a foot high to vacant properties with boarded windows – the issues are only getting worse with each passing day. The gathering included a refresher on what exactly the city is facing – residents have come to a breaking point with the blight and are demanding action.

One councilwoman commented that the processes through which the city deals with blight are completely wrong. She said there are too many roadblocks and distractions that keep progress from occurring. Members of the community are fed up and are leaving for safer areas. Blighted buildings might be an eyesore to lawful community members, but these structures are a beacon to drug dealers and prostitutes.

Looking to Technology to Ease the Problem
Atlanta is a large city, both in terms of its population and square mileage. Addressing all the code enforcement issues would be a daunting task for even the fastest, most efficient building inspection officer. However, with the right technology, the issues the code enforcement personnel in Atlanta face could be far less arduous.

Communities that have embraced the right technology are keeping a clear line of communication open with residents. They are able to use members of the community as a branch of their departments because residents can easily report violations using mobile apps that allow them to attach photographs and GIS information.

Boosting Workflow with Technology
When code enforcement officers are paired with the right technology, they also have the ability to hasten the flow of information from their work in the field back to the appropriate parties at city hall. With the vast majority of society having access to handheld devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, why should city employees be left out? Pairing the right software with these devices has been valuable to communities that have harnessed their power.

Comcate is a company that works with local governments to build software solutions that improve efficiencies across all departments. When building inspectors get their hands on our solutions, they make tremendous progress in their caseloads and provide the community with a safer, blight-free atmosphere. For more information about our services, contact us today.

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