Elgin releases new mobile apps for city services and police department
Elgin residents have two new mobile apps to make it easier to connect with city services and the police department.
The city unveiled the new apps during Wednesday's committee of the whole meeting, where the council unanimously approved an $86,700 contract with Seven Hills Technology for the app's continued development.
Aaron Cosentino, the city's chief technology officer, said the new City of Elgin app is a mobile version of the city's new online portal and replaces the old Elgin 311 app, which will no longer be supported.
The app -- available on the Apple App and Google Play stores -- allows users to submit and track 311 requests, such as reporting potholes or missed garbage collection, adding photos to those requests, and seeing announcements from the city. The app also can be used to make payments for license renewals, parking tickets and water bills.
The app can be toggled between English and Spanish and contains all the articles 311 operators would reference to find information for residents.
While the new app includes numerous enhancements, Cosentino said it's not a finished product.
"We know the app's not perfect," he said, acknowledging that they've already seen things they want to add and improve. "If you don't start somewhere, you're never going to get anywhere."
The Elgin Police Department app allows users to file reports for certain offenses, provide anonymous tips, access crime data, including gunfire incidents, and file complaints or give compliments. Also, residents will be able to see crime maps of their neighborhoods and check the status of cases.
The app consolidates most of what is on the police department's transparency hub, Deputy Chief Adam Schuessler said.
"One of the most common requests we receive is to make the site friendlier for mobile devices," Schuessler said.
The app will also allow community members who aren't on social media easier access to the notifications the department now shares with its 84,000 Facebook followers.