BIO - Bill Schrier
Chief Technology Officer
City of Seattle
Bill Schrier is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the City of Seattle and director of the City's Department of Information Technology (DoIT), reporting directly to Mayor Michael McGinn. Seattle has a population of about 600,000 residents and a City government of about 11,000 employees. DoIT has 205 full-time employees and a budget of $56 million. Approximately 500 employees work in information technology units throughout City government.
As CTO, Schrier is responsible to set standards and policies governing the use of information technology in City government. As Director of DoIT, Schrier responsibilities include managing the city's data center, computing services, information security, web site, municipal television station, community technology, electronic mail system, 800 MHz trunked public safety radio system, telephone network, and data communications network.
He is a current member and past chair of the King County Regional Communications Board (KC-RCB) which operates the public safety 800 MHz trunked radio system of 15,000 radios and 29 sites serving King County and Seattle. He presently chairs the City of Seattle Law-Safety-Justice Information Technology steering committee which has just finished a $19 million project to upgrade computer-aided dispatch, records management systems and mobile applications for Seattle Police and Fire. He’s been honored as a fellow of the Public Safety Foundation of America.
He writes a blog about the intersection of information technology and government, how they sometimes collide but often influence and change each other. It can be found at www.digitalcommunitiesblogs.com/CCIO/ . He tweets at www.twitter.com/billschrier
Schrier is a retired officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington.
The City of Seattle has a long-standing history of leadership and significant accomplishment in the use of technology for government. Some of those accomplishments include:
- Initiating, in 1990, the trunked radio project described above. King County taxpayers funded the system with a three-year, $62 million property tax levy. By the year 2000, every police and fire agency in the County, all PSAPs, and most public works agencies could communicate with each other via this interoperable radio network.
- The network has since been extended to interoperate with similar trunked radio systems in Snohomish County (to the north), the City of Tacoma (to the south) and the Port of Seattle, which operates the seaport and airport. These systems also interoperate with the Federal IWN (integrated wireless network) which serves the FBI, Secret Service, Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force, FEMA and other federal agencies in the Seattle area.
- The City of Seattle built a new police 911 center (PSAP) in 1999, and a new combined fire 911/alarm center and emergency operations center in 2007. Both centers have new, state-of-the-art technology systems, including computer-aided dispatch systems from Versaterm (police) and Tri-Tech (fire), plus a new Versaterm police records management system (RMS). The two centers back each other up, so if one center is unusable for any reason, joint 911 and dispatch operations can occur from the other Center.
- The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) includes state-of-the art radio, data, computer and video systems.
- The City of Seattle’s website www.seattle.gov, television station and technology projects have won a number of local and national awards, including “Best of the Web City Portal” in 2001 and 2006 and NATOA’s “Excellence in Government Programming” in 2007 and 2008 for the Seattle Channel.
- The City has pioneered the use of social media in government. Fourteen departments and many elected officials blog regularly. The combined blogs are known as “citylink” and are available at http://citylink.seattle.gov . Many departments also use Twitter. For example, the Police Department will quickly tweet about significant crimes or traffic incidents, using www.twitter.com/seattlepd . Those tweets link back to the Police Department blog at http://spdblotter.seattle.gov for more information regarding each incident.
- The City is committed to open data and demonstrates that commitment in multiple ways. “My Neighborhood Map” is a mash-up of information, so residents can see city facilities and incidents which occur in their neighborhoods on a map. Every Fire Department 911 call/dispatch, for example, is plotted on that map within a few minutes of the time of dispatch. “Travelers’ Information” displays real-time transportation information for streets and arterials, including red-yellow-green traffic status, links to traffic cameras in real-time, and significant construction projects. The City has an “open data” portal from which residents and researchers can download datasets of information such as building permits or fire 911 calls. Later in 2010 we will add detailed police crime statistics, police 911 calls, business licenses and similar data to this data feed.