BEVERLY HILLS—Residents and visitors of Beverly Hills may now downloadAsk Bev Mobile, an application for the iPhone from developer Comcate, Inc., that allows users to alert officials of any problems within the neighborhood instantly. Anything from vandalism to crumbling curbs to leaking fire hydrants can be brought to the attention of City Hall by simply taking a photo with one’s iPhone, adding a few notes, and then submitting it to the city’s online request system through Ask Bev Mobile. The iPhone’s built-in GPS records the exact location where the photograph was taken, thus allowing city workers to easily find the site of the incident.
Therese Kosterman, web coordinator in the Beverly Hills Communications Office, said “We’ve had quite a few cases come in already.” She described a situation in which a tree in a residential area fell over, rendering the sidewalk impassable. The incident was brought to the city’s attention with Ask Bev Mobile. “That one came in just a few minutes ago,” said Kosterman. She also mentioned an incident involving paint, improperly disposed of in an alleyway. “That one’s been resolved. The photo came in on Monday, and the paint was picked up on Tuesday.”
The same application may also be used to receive status updates on current requests as well as feedback from city employees. Beverly Hills workers expect that the application will reduce the time between the occurrence of an incident and when it gets fixed since it eliminates any wait-time associated with reporting an incident via phone call, and users will be more apt to report things immediately if they know it will be hassle-free.
The application was just launched last month, and is to work in conjunction with Mayor Delshad’s Smart City Campaign. Other initiatives in the campaign include water-saving sprinklers, solar-powered parking meters and computer programs designed to read and recognize license plate numbers in an effort to recover stolen cars. All of the programs are intended to work hand-in-hand with one another to make Beverly Hills safer, more earth-friendly and more beautiful.
The Ask Bev Mobile app is available now at the iTunes store, and it can be downloaded for free. Residents and visitors are encouraged to look out for problems in Beverly Hills, but in case of an emergency, please dial 911.