Thursday, November 21, 2013
City of Calgary receives two Awards for Municipal Excellence
The City of Calgary received two 2013 Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence today:
1. The Safe Communities Award goes to the Multi-Agency School Support Team, for their work on early intervention of at-risk youth.
2. An Innovation Award Honourable Mention goes to the 311 Mobile App for being the first of its kind in a municipal context in Alberta.
The Safe Communities Award emphasizes law enforcement and prevention of criminal activity, including addressing route causes and providing learning opportunities to high risk groups. The Multi-Agency School Support Team (MASST) is a partnership between the Calgary Police Service, Community & Neighbourhood Services, the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Catholic School District and Alberta Health Services.
MASST teams consist of a police officer and City social worker based in various Calgary schools. They work directly with children, their families, schools and community agencies to identify problems quickly and deliver prevention and intervention services to children aged 5-12 years. A Social Return on Investment evaluation has shown that MASST is making an impact on the lives of children in Calgary.
“We are very honoured our MASST program was selected for the Safe Communities Award,” says Community & Social Development Manager, Cheryl Joynt. “If we intervene early in the lives of children demonstrating at-risk behaviour, we know we have a better chance of making a difference to that child’s long-term success – and that benefits everyone.”
“Thank you to the Provincial government for acknowledging the importance of early intervention programs such as MASST,” says Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson. “MASST pairs a police officer and social worker to work directly with at-risk youth and their families. By addressing risky behaviour early, we are able to steer kids away from crime to where their chances of success are far greater.”
The Innovation Award recognizes original ideas that provide creative solutions for improved services. The 311 Mobile App allows citizens to submit and track the status of service requests with their smartphones. When citizens report something like a pothole, they can attach a photo and use their GPS function to allow the app to detect the location. The information, attached photo and location citizens provide allow City employees to assess, prioritize and efficiently respond to requests.
“I’m proud that my colleagues at The City are being recognized for ingenuity in making services more accessible to citizens,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The 311 Mobile App contributes to the transformation of government, and it provides a quick and cost effective way for citizens to directly improve their community.”
The awards were presented on November 21 at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference in Calgary. The Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence involve a rigorous process of application, documentation and review, and the awards are open to municipalities across Alberta.