Code enforcement pioneer app
Project: myAvondale Smartphone App / Code Enforcement Case Management System
Jurisdiction: Avondale, Ariz.
Agency: Avondale Code Enforcement
Vendor: App-Order.com, L.L.C.
Date began: 2010
Avondale places a high priority on neighborhood preservation, but the city’s code enforcement division is overtaxed, and forced to manage a growing caseload without additional resources. In a city of 76,000 residents with more than 20,000 households, four code enforcement officers must handle all the inspections.
It is a daunting task, so, when the code enforcement division was approached by a vendor to pilot a smartphone app to report code violations for caseload efficiencies, the city seized the opportunity.
Graffiti Protective Coatings, parent company to App-Order.com, offered to pilot a smartphone app and a code enforcement case management system for Avondale at no cost. In 2010, Avondale was the first city in the Phoenix Metropolitan area to pursue use of mobile technologies.
With the app, residents can report issues like abandoned vehicles, overgrown trees, unsafe sidewalks, graffiti, or potholes wherever and whenever they prefer (if they have a mobile device.) GPS and camera features built into the Android or iPhone device support the app, making it simple for residents to send city staff information, including photos and location, of the issue. Reported issues are then seamlessly converted into the case management system.
For residents, the app is one way to make reporting issues easier, more convenient, and more detailed. While the city continues to operate the phone, email, and web-based reporting systems, the app provides yet another way to report code violations – on the go, on the weekends or evenings, or any time it’s convenient.
Avondale is preparing to launch an upgrade to the app, myAvondale 2.0, which will enable residents to report more than just infrastructure and code-enforcement complaints. The updated version will provide access to news releases, city events, government services, social media and city maps – all in one application.
For staff, the myAvondale app eliminates the need for redundant input. The app has saved hundreds of staff hours by directly routing citizen issues that would previously been handled through several telephone calls, visits and emails. In addition, the code enforcement case management system allows code enforcement officers to open new cases, update and manage existing case information, generate notices and take and upload photos directly into cases, all in real-time from smartphones in the field.