Residents now can Report Non-Emergencies Through Website, iPhone, Facebook

After adding the free CRT App to their Facebook pages, citizens can report local issues from anywhere they have access to the internet and a computer. To report problems, citizens simply choose the category that best fits their issue, fill out the online form and submit it electronically. Their requests are automatically routed to the correct departments.

Two-way communication between citizens and their local government took a giant step forward recently when CivicPlus, a leading developer of open government technology, added the Citizen Request Tracker (CRT) Facebook application to its CRT Suite for government websites.

Across the country, municipal governments whose websites were designed by CivicPlus are adding the benefit for citizens. An early user of CRT, the City of Burleson in Texas last month announced to residents that reporting a non-emergency concern about a stray animal, code violation or pothole was now as easy as logging into their Facebook account.

“When a citizen enters a concern, the entire history of their request and comments from city departments is documented so they can track the request and we can ensure follow-up,” says Sally Ellertson, Burleson public information officer. “The website has become our central hub of communications. By tapping into new technology and the popularity of Facebook, we allow people to communicate with government on the same platforms they use daily with family and friends.”

After adding the free CRT App to their Facebook pages, citizens can report local issues from anywhere they have access to the internet and a computer. To report problems, citizens simply choose the category that best fits their issue, fill out the online form and submit it electronically. Their requests are automatically routed to the correct departments.

A history tab allows residents to track their requests and comments from government departments. Website administrators may add safeguards to ensure prompt response, so if a request isn’t answered in a specified amount of time, the request is automatically forwarded to another person or department.

It’s pretty common for cities to implement an online non-emergency reporting form, but CRT seems easier to use with the Facebook application. CivicPlus claims the benefits of CRT on a local government website go beyond convenience, response time and increased satisfaction for local citizens. Implementing the Citizen Request Tracker can decrease the amount of phone and foot traffic to town hall, improve and streamline workflow, maximize employee accountability and improve staff efficiency.

Now, here is something pretty nifty. CivicPlus clients may use Citizen Request Tracker, along with the compatible iPhone and Facebook Apps, at no additional charge. I like that concept because of the convenience of reporting while mobile. If you are away from your home and see a non-emergency situation that needs to be reported to the police, you can report it, right there and then, via your Facebook app on your mobile device.