Buffalo Grove: High Tech and High Profile Village's Use of Technology Earns It Coverage in National Trade Magazine

Article excerpt

For a few years, it's been obvious that the village of Buffalo Grove has been on the cutting edge of useful technology.

Other communities are watching with interest as Buffalo Grove equips its police cars with technology that will soon enable officers to file reports electronically. Firefighters and public works employees can access village maps from laptops inside their rigs or cars. Just last week, members of the village board tried out their new, village-issued laptops for the first time.

Now, Buffalo Grove is getting some national recognition as well.

CIO, "the magazine for information executives," wrote about Buffalo Grove for the cover story of its April 15 issue. In "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Wired By Now: A day in the life of a well- connected town," the magazine editors laud Buffalo Grove for using innovative ideas in the public sector.

Abbie Lundberg, editor in chief of the Framingham, Mass.-based magazine, said Buffalo Grove caught the publication's eye because it is a typical American town. And yet, it's way ahead of other cities in its commitment to technology.

For example, other towns may file wireless police reports, but they only have a few high-tech gadgets here and there, she said. Buffalo Grove, however, has found ways to incorporate technology into every department. Then, the village took it a step further and made sure each section of government communicates with the others.

"They're taking a much more integrated approach," Lundberg said. "It's the same trend that's happening in business."

Village officials say they simply are responding to the needs of their well-educated, upscale constituents.

"A large portion of our community actively uses computers in the home," Village President Elliott Hartstein said. "It's important that we keep up with that."

Buffalo Grove Police Sgt. Richard Clyburn said his department should be able to file reports electronically within the next month. The system will save a huge amount of time, he said, as reports can be filed right on the street, and then returned to an officer's squad car monitor immediately if the shift sergeant has any further questions.

The electronic reporting system will also cut down on the amount of paper in the police department. And with such capabilities as spell-checking, the reports will be much more accurate and clear, Clyburn said.

The trustee laptops are a natural extension of the village's Web site, Hartstein said. …