Project Management in Montgomery County has consisted of a variety of technical projects taken through design, acquisition, installation and maintenance covering the full project life cycle. Below is a synopsis of some of the more notable projects.
Joint Law Enforcement Center
Montgomery County is currently building a Joint Law Enforcement Center to address age related and structural issues with the current jail as well as prisoner population issues. The new Law Enforcement Center will house the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Red Oak Police Department and the E-911 Joint Communications Center for Montgomery County. The technology related projects for the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) include:
- Building a high speed fiber optic backbone between the LEC and the county courthouse. This fiber backbone will allow for shared internet services, serving applications between the facilities, backup redundancy and in the future will allow for video court appearances for inmates.
- A complete network design and implementation including structured cabling to support all offices in the LEC and planning for future technology initiatives including deployment of wireless technologies.
- Build-out of current phone system to support increased users, phone lines and handset locations.
- Relocation of all E-911 equipment and systems including radio equipment and antennas.
- Implementation of an advanced security system including IP video cameras throughout the facility.
- Implementation of building maintenance and HVAC control systems.
- Collaborative efforts with the Iowa Communications Network to provide connectivity to State and Federal technology systems.
County Website Re-Design
In the early part of 2012 the Montgomery County website received its first re-design since being built in 2009. The new website is a Content Management System which is a bundled set of applications used to create, manage, store, and deploy content on the web. This type of website allows for greater data control and allows for a greater number of subject matter experts to contribute data. CMS separates structure from design allowing designers to focus on building templates and modules and then allows end users to contribute data without much technical training. In addition to CMS components the Montgomery County Website also uses traditional web technologies such as HTML, CSS and various scripting languages. The website also makes uses of the Bing Maps application programming interface to present the county’s oblique aerial imagery as well as some other custom maps.
Countywide Email System
In December of 2011 Montgomery County implemented a new email system. The county’s previous email system which had been in place for several years was an on-premise POP3/SMTP based email system. The system lacked a lot of desired functionality and was very out dated. This system was replaced with a hosted Exchange email system offered by Microsoft called Office 365. Office 365 offered several advantages over the previous email system including; offsite secure storage and backup, easy and centralized user management, advanced Microsoft Outlook functionality, drastically increased storage capacity, shared calendaring, shared contacts and unified communication capabilities. The Office 365 email system has cut down on email related help desk calls and increased email/communication productivity.
Voter Precinct Redistricting
In early 2011 Montgomery County began the process of voter precinct redistricting following the 2010 U.S. Census. Population changes throughout the county dictated that precincts be redrawn to comply with State requirements for size of districts and population distribution. The planning and analysis of potential boundary adjustments and population distributions was carried out using the county’s Geographic Information System. This data was shared with the county redistricting committee and requests from the committee were drawn and presented for their review. The final redistricting plan was presented to and approved by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.
Disaster Recovery Service
In 2010 Montgomery County partnered with Agility Recovery to establish a disaster recovery contract. This contract helps ensure continuity of operations for courthouse services in the event of a natural disaster or other event that could destroy the courthouse or damage it preventing occupancy. Within 48 hours of such an event a double-wide mobile recovery trailer would be brought to a location of choice. This mobile recovery unit would be equipped with desktop computers, servers, printers, fax machines, satellite phones, satellite internet connectivity and a generator for power. This unit provides space for county staff to work and the technology necessary to resume critical county services in a very short time after a disaster happening.
In 2009 Montgomery County published its first website. The site, which was designed completely internally, was standards compliant and cross-platform compatible and incorporated some basic web technologies including html, css and java script. This website was simplistic and very cost effective for the county’s first website. It accumulated over 25,000 website hits in 2.5 years.
Courthouse IP Phone System
In 2009 Montgomery County purchased and implemented a new IP Phone System for the courthouse. The IP Phone System replaced a very dated traditional analog phone system. The new phone system saved space in the courthouse cable infrastructure as it was converged with the data network and operates over the same physical network cables, thus eliminating the need for separate cables just for phones. An IP based phone system also offers additional features and capabilities that make internal communications more efficient.
Pictometry Aerial Imagery
In 2008 Montgomery County partnered with Pictometry International & the City of Red Oak to acquire new aerial imagery of the county. The flight took place in November and the imagery was delivered in early 2009. Pictometry provided the county with oblique imagery which is imagery that is captured at an angle using state-of-the-art camera systems so that it shows features such as houses or buildings in their entirety. For example with oblique imagery you can see the front doors of a house or the sides of a building. In addition Pictometry also provided the county with traditional ortho imagery, or imagery that is straight down showing rooftops.
Montgomery County uses this imagery and accompanying software as a component of its Geographic Information System for planning, analysis and to solve problems and answer questions. The imagery is used in property assessment, measurement, secondary road planning, and public safety location awareness in the E-911 communications center just to name a few uses.