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Several county programs receive national honors

Nine programs were honored as recipients of the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award during the July 15 Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners meeting (staff photo: Kristi Reed)

Nine programs were honored as recipients of the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award during the July 15 Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners meeting (staff photo: Kristi Reed)

A system that helps quickly locate park visitors in need, a recycling initiative aimed at school-aged children and efforts which have slashed the number of animals euthanized at the shelter by more than half were among several county programs honored for improving services to citizens and modernizing county government during the July 15 Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“All of these are very, very impressive,” Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said of the nine programs recognized as recipients of the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award.

The nationwide awards are presented in 21 categories including criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology and more.

Nash thanked those who have been involved in refining and developing the programs.

“The good thing is that as impressive as these programs are, they’re just a sampling of the innovative ways county employees across county government are finding new ways of doing things better — of adjusting to changes in our community, changes in the needs of those that are being served,” she said.

Gwinnett County departments honored included:

  • Community Services for the trail help locator system (risk management category) and the Strong4Life camp ambassador program (health category).

  • Gwinnett County Animal Shelter for its volunteer and community outreach programs which have reduced the number of euthanized animals from 7,850 in 2009 to just 2,485 in 2013 (county administration and management category).

  • Gwinnett County Police Department for its efforts to combat the spread of criminal activity in multi-family communities (criminal justice and public safety category).

  • Property Tracking for its volunteer-led efforts to digitize paper real estate files pertaining to county-owned properties (volunteer category).

  • Department of Support Services for the creation and implementation of the Waste Interaction Center (financial management category) and for the multicultural outreach recycling initiative (civic education and public information category).

  • Department of Planning and Development for its creation of the One Stop Shop program which simplifies the process for obtaining reviews, permits and inspections for business owners and developers (community and economic development).

  • Fire and Emergency Services for its Career Awareness Program which allows employees to explore various career paths and learn about the operations of other divisions (personnel management, employee training and employee benefits category).

“I just can’t wait to see what kind of additional programs we’ll have on the list next year,” Nash added.