IT News

Pierce County IT Wins Two Standing Ovation Awards

Congratulations to all the IT staff who won Standing Ovation Awards! Staff from IT, the Auditor, and Budget and Finance received an award for their work designing a biometric time entry system. The system allows Elections extra hires to quickly clock in using any finger, thereby saving Pierce County more than $10,000 a year. Check out the

project video to learn more.

Additionally, IT won a Partnership Award for helping to link recorded documents with parcels in the Public GIS system. This project provides greater access to 15 commonly used recorded documents, including deeds of trust, bargain and sale deeds, surveys, liens and easements. Take a look at the award video to learn more.

Puget Sound Fresh app wins international award for design excellence!

The Puget Sound Fresh App is the perfect way for consumers to learn about fresh summer produce or find local farmer markets. Now the popular app has won a 2016 Apex Award for design and overall communications excellence.

APEX 2016 is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work in digital and print media. Competition this year was particularly fierce, with more than 1,600 entries in 11 main categories. The Fresh App was recognized in the Digital Media category for its elegant design and easy-to use interface.

Pierce County collaborated with neighboring agencies, University of Washington Tacoma and non-profit Seattle Tilth to create the app.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy praised the app for supporting local farmers. “The County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” McCarthy said. “It is gratifying to learn that Puget Sound Fresh has received this recognition.”

Chuck Buzzard Named Washington's GIS Person of the Year!

Pierce County’s Chuck Buzzard is a groundbreaking technologist, innovative leader, and partner with many state and local agencies. Chuck has now been named “GIS Person of the Year” for his expertise and countless hours of volunteering.

The Washington State Chapter of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (WAURISA) annually recognizes a candidate who has changed the GIS profession in some significant way. During his 20+ year career, Chuck has volunteered for critical leadership roles, including serving as WAURISA President, Conference Chair, and past Board member. Chuck’s major accomplishments include helping to implement Washington’s Next Generation 911 project, leading a major voter redistricting project, and serving on Washington’s Hydrologic Data Framework Committee and Transportation Framework Committee. Chuck is a teacher and mentor to many GIS professionals who recognize his ability to solve complex challenges and build consensus. He always makes the time to help others achieve their goals, and is often the guiding hand behind the scenes.

“Chuck Buzzard is the “gold standard” for GIS professionals,” said Pierce County IT Director Linda Gerull. “His leadership and constant focus on partnerships have improved GIS data and systems at the local and state level. He is always ready to share his expertise and is patient as others learn the complexities and impacts of GIS.”

Pierce County congratulates Chuck on this special recognition!
chuckwcert resized.JPG

Pierce County's Email Migration Featured in New Case Study

Mar 15, 2016

A new case study from data management company Bishop details how Pierce County migrated a legacy email archive system to Office 365. The County worked with Bishop to copy 233 million messages to the Microsoft Cloud, while at the same time ensuring the migration met public records and legal requirements.

View the entire case study on the Bishop website.

Fresh App Makes It Easy to Find Pumpkin Patches

- Oct 2, 2015

The award-winning Puget Sound Fresh App makes it easy to find pumpkin patches across Western Washington. Check out the PCTV video to learn more!

Puget Sound Fresh app wins national award for best new mobile app

- Sep 18, 2015

Western Washington farmers and consumers who support local food already love the Puget Sound Fresh app. Both Android and Apple users can use the app to find more than 350 farms and farmers markets, as well as recipes, harvest calendars and events.

Now the Fresh app has won a “Savvy Award” for best new mobile app from the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA). The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships.

Pierce County partnered with neighboring agencies, the University of Washington Tacoma and non-profit Cascade Harvest Coalition to create the app. It is designed to be a farm guide that fits on a phone. 3CMA judges were greatly impressed with the app’s user-friendly design. “We loved that this app has a clearly defined target use and that it is so well done! It’s a win-win for consumers, local farmers, and the county.”

The app has also been a useful tool for connecting consumers with farmers.

“Pierce County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback, and I’m proud that Puget Sound Fresh has received this kind of recognition.”
FRESH App.png

Pierce County makes the top ten list of digital leaders in government

- July 9, 2015

Pierce County has made the list of “Top Ten” digital leaders, according to the 2015 Digital County Survey. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost

“It is an honor for Pierce County to be recognized as a top digital leader,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Our success would not have been possible without our strong team of innovative leaders. The new initiatives have enhanced our community by keeping citizens safe, informed and connected.”

Pierce County was recognized for a number of cutting edge initiatives, including:
  • A Farm Fresh website and mobile app promoting local farms
  • Online chat and self-service tools for District Court customers
  • The mobile permitting app and Skype inspection program for streamlining building inspections
  • The Child Abduction Rapid Response system for quickly locating abducted children
  • The FirstToSee Emergency Support System for leveraging social media during disasters

The award also recognized Pierce County’s efforts to safeguard tech systems, control budget costs, expand public access to data, and provide training opportunities for local college students.

“The County is fortunate to employ expert, dedicated IT professionals,” said Pierce County IT Director Linda Gerull. “This staff have a passion for public service and are committed to delivering excellent customer service to a County excited about technology.”

The survey, conducted by Center for Digital Government (CDG) in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), identifies best technology practices among U.S. counties.
Digital Counties Survey 2015 Winner

Business Examiner profiles FirstToSee

- Dec 15, 2014

The Business Examiner profiled the FirstToSee project in the latest Who's Who in the South Sound column. Check out the full story here.

FirstToSee recognized among the best in the Northwest!

- Dec 12, 2014

Pierce County’s FirstToSee project just received an award for being among the best new tech sites and mobile apps in the Northwest. FirstToSee leverages the latest technology so that the public and responders to quickly share information in a disaster.

The Society of Technical Communications (STC) presented with a merit award for excellence in graphic design, layout, and technical writing. Judges also praised the FirstToSee mobile app for excellent design and functionality. The project team is being honored alongside professionals from major Northwest companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing.

“I’m incredibly proud and happy to see these departments recognized for their innovations in making government more accessible,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “By consistently finding new and better ways to provide outstanding customer service, Information Technology and the Department of Emergency Management are truly setting the standard for interactive government.”

About the award
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of technical communication. Each year, the STC Puget Sound Chapter invites Northwest tech professionals to submit websites, tutorials, brochures and other media for competition. For an entry to receive an award, it must be thorough, accurate, and well executed.

Pierce County's child abduction software helps find missing kids

-Dec 4, 2014

Police often have a short window of time to safely find and rescue an abducted child. Pierce County's new child abduction system helps investigators to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location.

PCTV recently interviewed a Pierce County detective, software developer and emergency manager about how the system works.

The national award-winning system is one of the first of its kind to be designed for local government.
Abduction system.jpg

Making the Case for Government Technology Investment

- August 2014

Pierce County IT is setting the standard when it comes to adopting Cloud services. This is why Department Director Linda Gerull was featured in a special CIO report by Government Technology. The report focuses on how the County has moved HR, payroll and benefits systems to the Cloud, and is now working on financials. In addition to more than 50 cloud applications, IT is also moving legacy systems to the cloud. This cloud-based HR and payroll implementation has reduced annual operating expenses by $100,000. The County is saving an additional $300,000 annually by streamlining new hire and terminations process, time entry, etc.

Read the full report on the Government Technology site.

Pierce County wins global achievement award for GIS mapping and road asset management

- Aug 12, 2014

Pierce County has won an international award for using GIS mapping tools to better manage storm drains and other road assets. The Environmental Science and Research Institute (ESRI) recognized Pierce County’s leadership in managing key infrastructure. Improved mapping has reduced annual costs (labor, equipment, and materials) for storm drain inspections and cleaning by 24 percent. County staff used Web mapping and asset management tools to improve data collection, field inspection and quality control of road assets. New GIS tools allow Road Operations managers and supervisors to easily share a common operating picture in real time. Road crews can easily access interactive maps on their mobile devices, allowing them to meet or exceed service goals while saving taxpayer money.

See the full

SAG Conference Winners
From left to right: Chuck Buzzard, IT AGIS, Jack Dangermond, President Esri, Matt George, IT AGIS and Mike Johnson, PWU Road Operations.

Pierce County wins national technology award from International Association of Emergency Managers

- Aug 4, 2014

Pierce County has won a national award for using the latest Web technology to help locate abducted children. The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recognized the County’s Lead Management System for a Technology & Innovation Award. Investigators can use the system to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location. The system is one of the first of its kind to be designed for local government.

Click here to read the full announcement.
Pierce County Wins National Technology Award from International Association of Emergency Managers

Pierce County wins national awards for District Court Live Chat and the FirstToSee emergency system

- June 16, 2014

Pierce County leads the nation when it comes to using technology to better serve the Courts and protect the public in a disaster. That’s why the County has received three national awards for District Court’s Live Chat and the FirstToSee emergency system.

Click here to read the full announcement.