• Posted On: November 21, 2014

Working with the community is something every code enforcement officer should do to improve customer satisfaction as well as the safety of the community as a whole. Some of the work processes departments are using currently are counterproductive to this goal.

San Luis Obispo code enforcement officers went on a public campaign recently, going door to door introducing themselves to the residents and letting them know that some of the things they spotted as they came up to the door could lead to future inspection violations. This was the city’s attempt at being more proactive with the community, some of which are students and have no idea that their chair on the roof of the house is in violation of city code.

San Luis Obispo code enforcement officer tasks also included focusing on smaller blight issues, such as garbage cans, furniture on porches, old fencing, weed issues and abandoned vehicles. These are problems in areas where landlords aren’t around to spot these issues with their units, many of which are rented out to college students.

For neighborhoods that have frequent inspection violations and issues with blight, this type of outreach is helpful. But, not every department’s code enforcement officer has the time to take such measures to reach out to the public. For departments that are using the right technology, proactive measures can also be taken that do not involve sending officers out door to door.

When solutions are brought to the people in the form of mobile apps, the level of engagement with community members in solving inspection violations or suspected violations becomes even more apparent. For instance, if a resident sees an abandoned vehicle across the street, they can log in to their mobile app, file a report, attach a picture and GIS information and send it to the code enforcement department. This requires no work on the end of the already over-tasked officers and gives them a heads-up on a possible issue that needs to be addressed.

When a code enforcement officer responds to cases filed by the public, they can go to the scene, use their mobile device to pull up case history, make a report and send it to the appropriate people, including the resident who filed the initial report. Since this can all be done out in the field, the officer has more time to stay mobile and handle the next case instead of going back to the office to file a report.

It’s this type of mobile solution that is helping understaffed code enforcement departments get through caseloads faster and more efficiently. It’s also boosting the morale of the community that appreciates the interaction and quick resolution of issues affecting neighborhoods.

Comcate is a company that builds software solutions that keep employees on the go and more productive than ever. Our code enforcement suite allows your workers to easily schedule follow-ups, print field reports, assign cases, track officers, maintain documents related to case histories, track cases, notify the public and track the amount of time spent on each case. For more information, contact us today.

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