September 21, 2011

SCPD Wins Prestigious Helen Putnam Award for Excellence

At today’s League of California Cities Annual Conference in San Francisco the Santa Cruz Police Department was selected as a winner of the Helen Putnam Award of Excellence. The department received the prestigious award from the League of California Cities for developing the first consumer-focused police mobile application in the nation. Deputy Chief Steve Clark received the award on behalf of the department. “It is essential that law enforcement makes its information as transparent and readily accessible as possible for their communities,” Deputy Chief Clark said, “this app is one step toward that goal and we’re honored to be recognized as a statewide model.”

The Santa Cruz Police Department, worked with EZ Axess, a company started by two recent graduates of the University of California, Santa Cruz, to develop the application. The free mobile app is available via iTunes and the Apple store and provides access to the department’s scanner feed, online crime maps, videos, photos and a departmental blog. In addition, consumers can submit crime tips from their mobile phone and view alerts.

Established in 1982 by the League of California Cities, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes outstanding achievements by California's cities. According to the League, the winning cities have made unique contributions to community residents and businesses, contributions which have resulted in lower costs or more effective delivery of services. The purpose of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program is to recognize and promote the outstanding efforts and innovative solutions by city governments to:
  • Improve the quality of life in local communities
  • Implement efficiencies in service delivery and operations
  • Provide services responsive to the local community

"We believe that applications like this build bridges between the community and their local government," EZ Axess CEO Kushyar Kasraie said. "We are excited to play a role in connecting the community with their police department and assuring there are no barriers to access of information."

The mobile app is part of focused social media and web-based outreach strategy over the last year. During that time the department has created a blog, Facebook page, online crime maps, online tips, Nixle alert system and more.