Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If any state IT pros are still looking for a Valentine, they should look no further than digital innovation.

As the new year gets underway, MeriTalk is looking back to some of the top innovators in Federal, state, and local cybersecurity. At the Symantec Government Symposium, MeriTalk’s founder Steve O’Keeffe sat down with the 2017 Cyber Award winners to discuss their success, and what they learned as they worked to stay ahead of cyber threats.  






FirstNet released its Tribal Consultation Policy, which outlines the consultation process FirstNet will use with tribal nations regarding the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network. The new policy will give tribes an avenue to express their public safety needs through a nation-to-nation relationship between FirstNet and the 567 Federally recognized tribes, according to a FirstNet release.






This hurricane season has already been one of the most destructive on record. Verizon is stepping up its efforts to support public safety and relief efforts in storm-battered states. Most importantly, the company is focused on repairing damaged communications networks and infrastructure to help governments focus on other restoration efforts.






The Commerce Department is asking for public opinion on its Next Generation 911 Grant Program, which would modernize 911 services so that citizens can use IP-based, broadband-enabled technologies to coordinate emergency responses.






Seattle hosted its “City for All” hackathon, which gathered data scientists, designers and urban planners, and software developers to search for solutions for challenges connected to aging and accessibility within the city. The hackathon was hosted in partnership with the Age-Friendly Seattle initiative, part of Seattle’s commitment to residents of all ages, including senior citizens who wish to age in place.






The Center for Data Innovation (CDI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, recently released “The Best States for Data Innovation,” a new report analyzing how states are using data to innovate and offer new services. Topping the overall list were Massachusetts, Washington, and Maryland. Rounding out the bottom were Mississippi, West Virginia, and Louisiana.






In its latest website redesign, Mississippi included virtual reality, a chatbot, and digital voice assistance technologies in hopes of improving the citizen experience. The makeover of ms.gov includes a brighter, more modern look with a photo of Amazon’s Echo welcoming users on the front page.






Pittsburgh Public Works improved efficiency and saved the city money through sensor-equipped trash cans.






Denver’s crowdsourced data platform asking people to indicate traffic hazards has garnered more than 2,200 responses since its March 6 launch. Sixty-one people were killed in traffic-related deaths on the streets of Denver in 2016. To redress the issue, Denver is participating in Vision Zero, a program where cities use data analytics to prevent transportation-related injuries.






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