Mayor Chris Beutler announced today that residents can now send photos to the City's ACTION center using mobile phones with Android technology. Since the fall of 2005, residents have been able to request non-emergency services or express concerns online using the interactive ACTION center on the City's website at lincoln.ne.gov. With the free new Android application, photos sent to the ACTION center will automatically include GPS (global positioning system) information.
"Residents who want to report graffiti, high weeds, a pothole or any other problem can now use their phones and the free app to snap a picture and send it directly to the ACTION center," Mayor Beutler said. "City employees will be able to identify the location using the GPS information. The goal is easier reporting for the public and faster and more coordinated response by the City."
The free application can be found in the Android Market (search for "Lincoln Action Center"). The Information Services Division of the City Finance Department developed the application in partnership with Information Analytics, Inc., a local firm specializing in information technology and software as well as Web design and hosting.
"Information Analytics and the City originally formed a partnership in the mid-1990s to develop and host the City's first official website," said Steven Henderson, the City's Chief Information Officer. "Information Services would like to thank Mark Dahmke, Vice President of Information Analytics, Inc., for his donation of time and effort to help deploy this new application and for his continued support in Internet related projects."
City officials caution the new application should never be used while driving, and residents should never put themselves in danger to take a photo for the ACTION center. ACTION should only be used for non-emergency inquiries. Those reporting emergency situations should always use 911.
The ACTION (Acting with Citizens to Improve our Neighborhoods) system was created by the City in partnership with neighborhoods and includes a list of about 88 topics. Once a topic is selected, the user has access to the City ordinance involved, a layman's version of the ordinance, a contact list and a description of the process involved. When a request is submitted, it is automatically routed to the departments or divisions in charge of the issues. Each inquiry is assigned a number that the resident can use to track the requests.
City Ombudsman Lin Quenzer said ACTION processed about 5,000 service requests and concerns in 2010. "The ACTION center provides residents with 24-hour-a-day access to information and an easy way to submit their concerns without calling the City or going to City offices," Quenzer said. "This new application gives the public another quick and easy way to reach us."