Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The Decatur Police Department has joined the other departments of the City in adopting cloud computing.  The change in technology roughly coincides with the return of the police to the Beacon Municipal Center.

The technology changeover went smoothly with no disruptions to dispatching or other emergency services.  Based on consultations between VC3 (the City’s cloud and technology provider), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Decatur Police Department, Decatur’s network remains compliant with criminal justice information services (CJIS) standards.

The cloud expansion demonstrates Decatur’s commitment to innovation and to providing employees with the most efficient tools for staff to work effectively.  Internal surveys indicate that 71 percent of City employees are somewhat or very satisfied with our cloud—they rate the best aspect of our cloud as the ability to “work from anywhere” whether at their desk or on-the-go from a mobile device.

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The City of Decatur worked with Trusted Photographers Atlanta to develop Google Map Business Views for 4 of Decatur’s city buildings: Decatur City Hall, Fire Station 1, Fire Station 2 and the Decatur Recreation Center. Similar to Google Map’s street view option, anyone can click on the links below and “walk through” the city buildings.

Online tours:

City Hall
Decatur Recreation Center
Fire Station 1
Fire Station 2

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The official launch of the new City of Decatur mobile app will be delayed a few weeks so that several technical issues can be resolved. Once it is all ready, the launch will be announced here on the Decatur Minute blog. city-of-decatur-logo-2in

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google fiber cupcakes

Decatur has completed the Google Fiber Cities Checklist, along with the other 8 metro Atlanta communities identified by Google for potential expansion.

In February, 2014, Google Fiber announced plans to explore expansion.  This announcement sparked an impressive collaborative effort in metro Atlanta, as well as within Decatur’s internal “Google Team” over the past 8 weeks.

Google’s primary strategy for gathering the necessary information is the Google Fiber City Checklist, which was due on May 1, 2014.  While the checklist does not request any form of special consideration, it has been an intensive process which required staff to critically evaluate the best strategies for streamlining the proposed project.

You can review this response online or check out our original application video to Google Fiber in March 2010.



> Decatur Google Fiber Response <

google valentine




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Google Fiber 1


Thank you to everyone who has tweeted about wanting Google Fiber in Decatur. We love how excited everyone is!

While we’ll be working closely with Google over the next few months to see if Decatur/metro Atlanta is a good fit for their fiber product, we want to continue to show them how much we want Google Fiber in our community. We’ve created a Google+ City of Decatur page, so make sure to +1 us if you’re on Google+. Also, we want to hear from you. Send us photos, videos, drawings, etc. telling us how much you want Google Fiber in Decatur and we’ll share it on the City of Decatur Google+ page. We roped in some fellow City employees to take a photo (above) as inspiration – although we know you can be more creative than us. Here are a few more for inspiration.

You can either submit your photos/video/drawings via:

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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A Google Fiber installation van (pictured in Kansas City) could be coming to Decatur, Ga.

A Google Fiber installation van (pictured in Kansas City) could be coming to Decatur, Ga.

Yesterday’s announcement of Decatur as one of 34 cities under consideration for the next round of Google Fiber expansion resulted in an outpouring of enthusiasm from residents, business owners and, well, just about everyone. City leaders and staff are busy taking the next steps in the joint planning process, and updates will be posted here as they become available.

Google wants to know that there is grassroots support for Google Fiber in Decatur. Here’s what you can do to help:

1)      Visit https://fiber.google.com/newcities/ and click on the “Get Updates” button. The more people who sign up for updates that live or work in Decatur the better, so be sure to use a City of Decatur address.

2)      On Twitter? Tweet your enthusiasm to @GoogleFiber and @Google using the hashtag #DecaturGA

3)      Express your support on the Google Facebook page in a comment that tags the Downtown Decatur Facebook page.

4)      Follow the Fiber Google+ page.

5)      Get creative! Google has a corporate culture that values forward thinking, so reaching out to the company in creative and innovative ways is encouraged. How would Google Fiber improve your life, your business or the entire Decatur community? Let Google know “Decatur wants Google Fiber!”

The city would like to hear how you creatively told Google “Decatur wants Google Fiber!” Share in the comments or email casie.yoder@decaturga.com

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Today, Mayor Jim Baskett announced that Decatur is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city.

Improving broadband speed and choice for our residents has been a priority for Decatur for years, including applying for Google Fiber in 2010. Today’s average American broadband speed is 9.8 Megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber could bring Decatur residents access to “Gigabit” Internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second—or up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.

“The City of Decatur is proud to be on Google’s short list,” said Mayor Baskett. “Decatur is known for being forward thinking in our commitment to sustainable, long-term planning. We now have the opportunity to demonstrate that we are fiber ready and future ready. Our entire community of homes, schools and places of worship would benefit from Google Fiber’s unbelievably fast internet speeds, in ways we can’t even imagine. We look forward to Google’s building the infrastructure for this technological investment in our community.”

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources” said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber. “The Decatur City Commission is stepping up to see what they can do to make their city ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. We look forward to working with the City of Decatur in the coming months to see if we can build the next chapter of the Internet together, on gigabit speeds.”

There is huge consumer demand for faster Internet speeds, because no one likes to wait on the web. Unfortunately, many of the things people love to do online (like gaming, watching movies, video chatting) require a lot of bandwidth, which means that, using today’s connections, consumers often get stuck waiting for pages to load or for videos to buffer. Statistics show that people walk away from slow-loading sites. And gig networks aren’t just about meeting today’s speed needs. The next 100x leap in broadband speeds — to gigabit Internet — will lead to innovation that’s unimaginable today, just as the shift from dial-up to broadband did.

Starting this week, Google will work closely with city leaders and staff on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout the city of Decatur. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, city officials will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of this scale.

Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year. Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100x faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Kan., Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah and will be available in Austin, Texas later this year. For more information about this announcement, visit the Google Fiber blog.

Additional information for the news media (including b-roll and graphics) is available on the press website.


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Today is Amber Alert Awareness Day, marking the 18 year anniversary of the day Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and later found murdered. In April of 2003, in her honor, President Bush signed into law the PROTECT Act, which statutorily established the national AMBER Alert coordinator role. Since, the AMBER Alert™ program has been credited with more than 675 successful recoveries of missing or abducted children. The AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.

In honor of this day, the City of Decatur is encouraging parents to create a Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com which can include current photos and physical descriptions of their children.  According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. When a child is reported missing it can take up to an hour or more to have a current photo distributed to law enforcement officers in the field. If the family has a Smart911 Safety Profile and dials 9-1-1, their child’s photo and description will be immediately available to call-takers and can be passed on to law enforcement officials in the field, launching a search in seconds or minutes as opposed to hours.

Smart911 allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile for their household with information they want 9-1-1 and emergency responders to have during an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call-taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information.

For more information about Smart911, contact Fire Chief Toni Washington at toni.washington@decaturga.com or 404-373-5092.


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November hosts a number of health awareness campaigns, including: National Epilepsy Awareness Month, National Diabetes Month and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the same time, it’s National Family Caregivers Month, and each year more and more Americans are caring for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities or health issues related to old age. With this in mind, the city is encouraging family caregivers to take advantage of Smart911, a service that brings a new level of support and peace-of-mind to those with such conditions and the family members who provide assistance.

Smart911 allows individuals and family caregivers to create a free, private and secure Safety Profile at www.smart911.com, which can include any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. The profile is then delivered automatically to the 9-1-1call-taker when an emergency call is made. Details in a Safety Profile allow 9-1-1 to have a better understanding of a situation and can be passed on to emergency response teams in the field to help support fast, precise action.

A Safety Profile can include such things as medical notes that enable emergency responders to approach and treat a person with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy or diabetes properly and quickly; a particularly useful feature if the person cannot communicate, is suffering a seizure or is confused. Information can also include family caregiver emergency contact details. Should someone with Alzheimer’s dial 9-1-1 and be unable to recall personal details, the Safety Profile can provide a name and exact address. If they wander away from home and a family caregiver dials 9-1-1 from a phone number included in the profile, a photo can be immediately distributed to emergency responders to expedite a search.

For more information about Smart911 and how we’re using it in the City of Decatur, contact Fire Chief Toni Washington at toni.washington@decaturga.com or 404.373.5092.

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Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Coming Soon


Beginning March 1, Decatur will be offering free public Wi-Fi in several public spaces: downtown Decatur, the Oakhurst business district, Oakhurst Park, Glenlake Park, McKoy Park, and Adair Park. These spaces are ideally suited for work and play, and now users can count on a reliable Wi-Fi signal free of charge!


Residents and visitors will now be able to stay connected with their smartphones, tablets and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices while in these community spaces.



Getting Connected 

To connect to the Internet through one of the free access points follow these steps:


1. Look for and select the network named “Decatur Free WiFi” in the list of networks in your device’s Wi-Fi settings screen.

2. Once connected, open the Internet browser to accept the terms and conditions of Decatur Wi-Fi.

3. Enjoy!


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