5 Cool Ways State and Local Governments Use Zoom to Serve the Community
Zoom for Government helps U.S. Federal Government employees around the country communicate securely and collaborate easily. While this 100% U.S.-based platform is frequently used at the federal level, it also supports state and local governments as they embrace new ways to serve their communities.
Here are five cool ways we’ve found state and local governments using Zoom to support the public:
1. Real-time collaboration between police departments & mental health officials
As local governments look at ways to create cross-departmental collaboration, solutions like Zoom are key to their success. Just take the Lockport, New York, Police Department for example, who leveraged Zoom to evolve real-time incident response. Lockport is among the first police departments in New York state to use Zoom Meetings to involve mental health officials in crisis intervention, connecting specialists with officers on the scene for support.
2. Increased access to justice
During COVID-19, many traditional in-person processes suddenly had to function virtually. This included the justice systems, as courts at every level leveraged Zoom to conduct proceedings. The Texas Judiciary, for instance, has now hosted over a million hearings on Zoom.
Courts may have accelerated their digital transformation efforts out of necessity, but their actions have increased access to justice that was previously limited by physical and fiscal barriers. It’s even improved the court experience, helping with de-escalation for family matters, lowering in-person anxieties, and encouraging broader attendance. For instance, family members and loved ones can now attend adoption proceedings via Zoom and celebrate the adoption process live over video.
3. Professional opportunities for inmates
Some state correctional facilities are using Zoom to not only connect inmates with loved ones, but also pair them with professional development opportunities.
One facility deployed Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone to create advanced data science roles for inmates. Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars also allowed this department to offer job skills training, career fairs, and other educational programs for inmates.
4. Improved visuals for disaster relief & safety services
Digital Harmonic, a video enhancement company, uses Zoom to capture and refine drone footage. With this improved video visibility and clarity, the company helps support government agencies, military operations, humanitarian aid organizations, and more with disaster relief and search and rescue.
By enhancing video footage captured via Zoom, Digital Harmonic helps remote personnel maintain situational awareness and increase the quality of information they provide to on-the-ground team members. As discussed during last year’s Zoomtopia, the company works closely with local fire departments on monitoring firefighters’ distance from a fire, ensuring they contain the primary burn, and identifying any secondary fires.
5. Public testimony for local city councils
Local departments use Zoom for board meetings and even public testimony to connect with the community on key issues.
Omaha City Council initially began using Zoom for public testimony sessions during COVID-19 and plans to extend the process even after the pandemic, believing it makes officials more accessible to more people. Zoom enables the council to allow members of the public to virtually comment on agenda items from home.
Supporting our community
As a resource for federal, state, and local governments, Zoom for Government is designed to support officials as they work to support their communities.