City of Pittsburgh

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

America’s Most Livable City



[PITTSBURGH, PA] September 17, 2008 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today unveiled new technology that will give neighborhood inspectors 21st–century tools to better respond to eye–level code violations such as graffiti, hazardous sidewalks, or overgrown lots.

During his third Taking Care of Business (TCOB) sweep in Bloomfield, the Mayor tested the software’s best feature. Calling the City’s 311 Response Line, the Mayor reported the sweep’s first enforcement violation, and within seconds, the complaint appeared on the inspector’s handheld device. From the field, the inspector was able to verify the address and property owner, and send the citation information directly to the Bureau of Building Inspection (BBI) for dissemination.

“Investing in 21st–century technology, we’ve streamlined this process to address quality–of–life concerns in our neighborhoods faster and more efficiently,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “As our inspectors tackle more 311 calls and sweep our neighborhoods, this technology will give them the tools needed to turn the tide in many of our communities.”

Before the automation, inspectors would return to the office to re–write violation notices. Then, it would take approximately three more days for the property owner and address to be confirmed. Finally, administrators manually re–entered the citation into the antiquated paper system and typed the citation letter to be mailed to violators.

The wireless technology, developed in–house by the City’s Computer Information Systems (CIS) department with help from B–Three Solutions, will cut the time it takes for inspectors to process code enforcement violations from four days to one. At every stage in the process, the status of the complaint is updated to 311 so that residents can track their customer complaint in real–time. The technology will also tie into the Mayor’s Disruptive Property Ordinance, which is set to launch at the end of the year.

Oakland and Garfield inspectors will begin using the technology October 1, with all neighborhoods to follow in the coming month.

The computers have been purchased at a cost of approximately $4,000 per unit. B–Three Solutions, a Plum–based company, worked with CIS to create the $61,230 software which was modeled from the Police Bureau’s Automated Police Reporting Software.

Note: This is the text of a press release from the City of Pittsburgh. The press release and the photograph came from the City’s web site site (