The City of Hilliard is responsible for more than 200 miles of sidewalks. To keep this infrastructure in proper condition the City must assess the sidewalks, trails and curb ramps so the City can come up with a plan to maintain a safe sidewalk network that will not only meet federal regulations, but benefit the entire community, especially pedestrians with physical limitations and mobility challenges. Traditionally, these assessments were completed manually with standard tape measure, bubble level and a visual assessment. This process took an extensive amount of resources and time to complete.
In an effort to streamline this process and enable the City to make assessments more often, the City partnered with Converge technology to develop a cart that when rolled along the sidewalk or trail measures any defects with both sensors and cameras, documenting the exact location and enabling automatic mapping of the entire infrastructure.
In 2019, the City of Hilliard began implementation of a Centralized Traffic Management System (CTMS), a multi-phase initiative that will modernize the current traffic system to allow real-time, system-wide remote programming and operation of an unlimited number of traffic signals. In addition, the City has added camera systems to its high traffic corridors for remote monitoring and congestion identification.
One of the most important components of emergency response is to have the right equipment and the right personnel at an emergency location as quickly as possible. When 911 is called, emergency responders depend on the caller to provide enough information for them to send the right equipment and personnel to help. Oftentimes, this is not the case and precious time is wasted when the first emergency responder arrives and must request additional resources.
In response, the City of Hilliard has partnered with Converge Technologies to develop a proof-of-concept first responder drone that would be deployed upon receipt of a 911 call and location information. This autonomous drone would reach any location in the City in under two minutes being capable of relaying critical site information to a central command to deploy needed resources as quickly as possible. In addition, this drone could remain on site during the emergency to relay vital information as the situation evolves.
In order to meet FAA requirements to fly an autonomous drone without line of physical site of the pilot, the City of Hilliard has partnered with Lighthouse Avionics, a modular airspace management system capable of providing low-cost, long-range identification, tracking and communication capabilities for drones flying below 400 feet.
This partnership utilizes the City’s fiber-optic network and cellular network for communications, its buildings for radar placement, and camera network for airspace object identification. This partnership will be the first-use case in the State of Ohio, and we will work with the Ohio Department of Transportation to expand the technology across the state.
The digitization of the City’s services requires these services to be available and the information protected from unauthorized access. The City of Hilliard has made this a priority and has supported and encouraged staff in their participation in the Ohio Cyber Reserve (OhCR).
The Ohio Cyber Reserve is a volunteer force under the Adjutant General’s Office. OhCR teams of trained civilians will be available to assist eligible municipalities with cybersecurity vulnerabilities and provide recommendations to reduce cyber threats.
OhCR volunteers also will provide workforce development to train the cyber talent of the future and assist STEM teachers by providing mentors for high school cyber clubs.
Each member undergoes an evaluation, screening process and background check. This information is collected and reviewed by an appropriate board convened by the OhCR leadership. OhCR recruits individuals from around the state.
The mission of OhCR is to provide cyber security capabilities to the public entity in assisting, educating and responding to incidents within the Ohio Organized Militia under the control of the Adjutant General’s Office.
The City has two staff serving with OhCR. City of Hilliard IT Administrator Adam Maynard earned OhCR’s HERO Award for demonstrating the highest skills in cyber defense during a recent exercise.
From its creation, the City has supported this critical mission providing a training location for drill weekends and beta testing all new process and procedures with the City as a whole.
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