In the inner sanctum of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Offices, there’s a display case that houses numerous department artifacts dating back to the 1800s: photographs, badges and handwritten incident logs help tell the department’s storied past. Captain Chris Lathrop likes to stop and take in the department’s rich history. But Captain Lathrop’s focus is in the future – and one mobile application in particular that is making a big difference in how the department fights crime.
The mobile app developed in-house by Ventura County’s IT Department is called iCop – and it’s been a great asset to Sheriff’s Department deputies and investigators.
Most of us have swatted away marauding mosquitos, attacking from the sky—well now the mosquitos have to watch out for the air power too. In San Bernardino County, the Mosquito Vector Control Program is collaborating with the County’s Sheriff’s Aviation Division, and using state-of-the-art technology to identify potential mosquito breeding sites: unmaintained swimming pools.
In 2012, West Nile Virus – transmitted by mosquitos – was being reported at record levels. Dozens of cases occurred in San Bernardino County, where concerns were elevated over the fact that more than 18,000 homes in the County had been foreclosed. Many of these residences included unmaintained swimming pools, ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos. Unfortunately, the County’s Mosquito Vector Control staff was only made aware of potential s breeding site when they received a complaint. This limited abatement since staff had few ways to find green pools on their own since most aren’t visible from the street.
When Faythe Arredono talks about Tulare County’s Teen Digital Media Lab, her eyes light up. That sparkle is only matched by the teenagers who participate in the program. Ask the likes of students Araceli Mendoza or Vincent Macareno and you can see why this program has such a positive impact.
Tulare County library staff knew they could do a better job of connecting teens through the library, but the question was how. “We tried some things. Some worked, some didn’t, but we could never really get anything off the ground,” explained County Librarian Jeff Scott. That’s where Faythe Arredondo comes in. She was hired in 2011 as the County’s first-ever Teen Services Librarian. Right away she started exploring ways to get teens engaged digitally. With the help of a grant from the California State Library, she was off and running.
When people say that government agencies should be run more like a business, I suspect what they really mean is that government should use more efficient processes that result in better customer service. That’s what Sacramento County is now offering through a change of technology and process in their Cal-Fresh Service Center.
Under the old “case based” model, when someone applied for Cal-Fresh benefits, they were assigned to a case-worker who was in charge of that file. When you had questions, needed to make some changes or had any other reason to contact the program, you had to talk to your case-worker. That model worked because that one person gets to know his or her cases over time, but with growing case loads and limited budgets, the old way became unwieldy and inflexible.
Imagine a stack of paper 40 stories high. That’s how much paper the San Diego County juvenile justice system was using each year related to court cases. Enter the Justice Electronic Library System (JELS), a collaborative effort of the county’s juvenile justice agencies, technology office and its outsourcing provider Hewlett Packard. The end result is a state-of-the-art system that saves money, time and resources while improving the juvenile justice system.