Government Technology

NewsWatch: Gunshots or Fireworks?

Cities and Counties

July 8, 2011 By

2011 Parking Rate Survey

In both Canada and the U.S, parking rates registered little change over the past 12 months with exception of a few secondary markets. A handful of cities saw double-digit increases, but in most markets parking rates held steady, rose marginally, or dropped by just a few percent. Colliers

Academy to Train County Residents to Help in Disasters

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office will sponsor an academy in September for people interested in joining the Community Emergency Response Team. The CERT program began in 2007, and to date more than 150 people have received training. The program is part of an effort to increase disaster preparedness awareness in the county by having a group of trained individuals capable of assisting themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. Sacramento Bee

British Study U.S. Local Television (Video)

Birmingham, Alabama, in the United States is a model for the UK. The American city has four local TV channels while its UK namesake -- Birmingham in the West Midlands -- has none. And yet there is much in common: "Where we've got badgers with TB, they've got armadillos with rabies." BBC

Police Accepting Anonymous Tips Through Texting, the Internet

The Waltham, Mass., Police Department will now accept anonymous tip submissions via text and the Internet, since the police have teamed up with the web-based alerting company CitizenObserver. Tip411, one of the tools CitizenObserver provides, is an Internet-based tool that allows the general public to report crime using their cellphones and the Internet and lets police respond back, creating a two way anonymous chat. Town Correspondent

Digital Inclusion Through Libraries

ICMA and other organizations offer a new resource designed to help jurisdictions realize the value of a digitally inclusive community in which local libraries thrive and deliver needed resources to  citizens. Building Digitally Inclusive Communities: A Guide to the Proposed Framework assists local government leaders in assessing their current capabilities and making informed choices about technology investments by learning from best practices from communities throughout the country. ICMA

Town Can Refuse Service to Biker Clubs, Says Judge

Two Hells Angels bikers cannot contest an unofficial ban against them from bars and restaurants in a small Illinois village, a federal judge ruled. Gary Kohlman and Allen Roberts, who belong to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, claimed that the mayor of Midlothian, a small village 25 miles south of Chicago, and its police chief, ordered local restaurants and bars to refuse them service because of their Hells Angels' membership and because they wear the gang's insignia and logos. Federal and state law enforcement classify Hells Angels one of four outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States, calling the club a conduit for criminal activity. Courthouse News Service

Philadelphia Relaunches PhillyStat

Mayor Nutter on Wednesday revisited a key pledge of his first campaign -- running a more efficient and transparent government -- at the unveiling of a revised performance-management program known as PhillyStat. Philadelphia Inquirer

Technology Differentiates Between Gunshots, Fireworks

The Birmingham Police Department's ShotSpotter system, which detects and distinguishes between gunfire and fireworks, was far less busy during this Fourth of July weekend than during the 2010 holiday, according to police. From midnight Sunday through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, the system detected 75 gunshots and 170 fireworks. Birmingham News

Taiwan Launches Free Public Wi-Fi

The citizens and foreign travellers can now enjoy free wireless Internet services in Taipei city major public areas. In its drive to become ‘Intelligent fibre city’, the Taipei government in Taiwan has started its free wireless Internet services in public facilities on July 1. FutureGov

Amid Stacks of Paper, ‘E-Court’ Is Finally in Session

Some courts in Westchester and Rockland Counties have followed Manhattan’s pilot project to require mandatory electronic filing over the last year. And last month the Legislature authorized a wide expansion of electronic courts to a broad array of civil cases and to courts in every borough and several upstate counties. New York is not yet handling criminal cases electronically. New York Times

Seattle Candidates Can Now Rip Opponents in Voters' Guide

Candidates will not be allowed to use defamatory, libelous, profane or obscene language under city rules. City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who's running for re-election this year, asked the commission to bar statements that are false or materially misleading. Seattle Times

City Exposes Tax Deadbeats

Philadelphia yesterday continued its quest to publicly shame tax deadbeats as the Revenue Department showcased its latest list of 38 delinquent bums that owe a combined $5.5 million. "They're stiffing the city," said mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald. Philadelphia Daily News

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