San Diego, California - Teaming up with private business to entice more people to prepare for disasters; leading a region-wide drive to encourage San Diegans to live healthier lives; helping homeowners join the solar-power revolution by letting them get permits online; making it easier for families to get vaccinations; and building a modern, up-to-date, centralized County Operations Center for the public to use.

Those were just a handful of the 34 County of San Diego programs honored with Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

“All these awards are a testament to the County’s ongoing efforts to improve how we serve the public — from cutting red tape to reducing costs to making services more accessible,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “Good, effective public service is what good government is all about.”

San Diego County’s 34 awards were the most given to any county in California and came in categories running the gamut of public service, including: “Children and Youth,” “Community/Economic Development,” “Criminal Justice and Safety,” “Emergency Management and Response,” “Environmental Protection and Energy,” “Health,” “Human Services,” “Information Technology” and “Planning.”

Two programs, "AlertSanDiego" and "Community Transition Center" not only won awards, but were judged "Best in Category."

The National Association of Counties Achievement Awards are given each year to recognize outstanding, innovative county government program all across the U.S.

In the "AlertSanDiego" submission, the County’s Department of Emergency Services was honored for teaming up with the Target Corp. to give free tents donated by the company to the first 2,000 local residents who filled out Family Disaster Plans and registered their cell phones with AlertSanDiego — the County’s high-speed alert system.

The Community Transition Center created a new County unit to help deal with the state's "Public Safety Realignment" — the state's 2011 move to shift responsibility for thousands of prisoners from state prisons to counties — by making sure offenders undergo assessments, treatment and case-plan development before being released into the community.

The County was also honored for opening its $294 million County Operations Center at its Kearny Mesa center, which consolidated numerous County services that were once geographically separated — making it more convenient for County residents and saving taxpayers millions of dollars a year by ending previous lease-agreements in other locations.

Other award-winning programs and categories are:

Arts and Historic Preservation

  • San Diego Legends: San Diego County Library

Children and Youth

Community/Economic Development

Criminal Justice and Public Safety

  • Behavioral Health Court
  • Community Resource Directory
  • Community Transition Center
  • District Attorney’s Office DNA CODIS Hit / CMS Integration Program
  • San Diego Electronic Probable Cause Declaration

Emergency Management and Response

Environmental Protection and Energy

  • Lead Gradient Study of Ambient Air Surrounding the McClellan-Palomar Airport

Health

Human Services

Information Technology

  • County Government Jobs Website Makeover
  • Electronic Performance Appraisal Notification
  • Improved Access to Immunization Services: Piloting a Web-based Appointment System
  • Job Applicant Self-Scheduling
  • Legal Paperless System
  • Wireless Radio Alarm Transmission System
  • Workers' Compensation E-Billing

Planning

Transportation

  • General Services Fleet Mobile Maintenance