Macomb County receives national awards

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published May 17, 2018


MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County was the recent recipient of five 2018 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties, or NACo, an annual award program that recognizes innovative, effective county government initiatives that strengthen services for residents.

Awards are given in 18 different categories, including children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement, according to a NACo press release.

“It is a great honor for the county to be recognized on this national platform,” said Macomb County Executive Mark  Hackel in a prepared statement. “County employees do what they do simply because they enjoy doing what they do every day to serve our community. These awards are a complete validation of their passion, dedication, creativity and leadership.”

Macomb County was recognized and received awards for the following work:

• The Macomb County IT Department SMS texts to PSAP program
The 911 Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of most telephone services. The Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is a call center responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, fire and ambulance services, the release states.

In a joint agreement with the Association of Public Safety Communications and the National Emergency Number Association, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have voluntarily committed to provide text-to-911 services in all areas served by their networks where a 911 call center is prepared to receive texts. The PSAP Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry lists PSAPs that are ready to receive text-to-911 messages and provides notice to Commercial Mobile Radio Service providers and other providers of interconnected text messaging services of the PSAP’s notice date of readiness. Macomb County’s goal was to comply with the mandate and become ready to receive the text-to-911 messages from the public.

• The Macomb County IT Department agendas and minutes system
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners conducts multiple committee meetings per month for which all county departments must submit items — contracts, purchase approvals, memos, notices, presentations — for inclusion on agendas. Subsequently, minutes of each meeting are produced and made publicly available. In 2015, it was recognized that the manual system of managing these agendas and minutes needed to be digitized and a solution was sought, according to the release.

• The Macomb County IT Department ISP conversion
The Macomb County Information Technology Department implemented inbound/outbound redundant internet connectivity by utilizing the Border Gateway Protocol to be used for exchanging routing information between gateway hosts, according to the release.

• The Macomb County IT Department coordination of fire dispatch for multiple communities
Macomb County has engaged neighboring communities to share emergency fire dispatch service resources and systems. The goal of this project was to implement the Macomb County fire dispatch solution for the Harrison Township Fire Department, Washington Township Fire Department and Mount Clemens Fire Department. The successful implementation of consolidating the fire services would result in the increase in centralized management of fire services in the area.

• The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development Urban Forest Partnership
Green Macomb is an initiative designed to strengthen economic vitality, improve community well-being and enhance the natural environment by supporting and building Macomb County’s green infrastructure. Actively engaged partners include local municipalities, utility providers, businesses, nonprofit organizations and residents, all guided by various Macomb County departments. Supported through volunteerism and grants from the U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and ITC, the purpose of the Urban Forest Partnership is to plant trees in communities with low canopy coverage, high population density and highly impacted sub-watersheds, the release states.

This is the 37th year that Macomb County has participated in the NACo Achievement Awards program. The county also received five awards in 2017.