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Texas' e-filing extension

Tyler Technologies, a major seller of government software, announced last week a new five-year contract with the Texas court system to run its electronic filing services. The agreement, worth $98 million, is the largest in Tyler’s corporate history, and will keep the company as the e-filing vendor for criminal and civil courts across all of Texas’ 254 counties through at least 2027. Texas court officials have credited the system with keeping the judicial system running through the COVID-19 pandemic and a ransomware attack last May. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Face mask detection on the morning commute

New Jersey Transit, the country’s third-largest public transit system, will test an array of emerging technologies like heat mapping, face-mask detection and artificial intelligence to monitor the capacity of its light rail system as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. The pilot project, which will involve the installation of cameras in rail cars, is being funded by a $600,000 grant NJ Transit won from the U.S. Transportation Department, which recently distributed $16 million to transportation agencies to develop technologies aimed at slowing the pandemic. Ryan Johnston has more.

How a small-town police department overcame its GIS challenge

To ensure its 911 dispatchers wouldn’t need to rely on Google Maps when directing first responders to emergencies, the Radcliff, Kentucky, Police Department recently underwent an arcane but critical upgrade to its data systems. The city last fall hired GeoComm, a company specializing in geographic information systems for public safety, to update its mapping platform, ensuring that dispatchers have an accurate and complete accounting of the city’s roadways. Previously, dispatchers could sometimes be forced to resort consulting Google Maps an Excel spreadsheet if the data hadn’t been integrated into the city’s dispatching software. Colin Wood reports.

CISA boosts anti-ransomware messaging for local government

Coming off another year in which ransomware actors battered local government networks, CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales said last week that the agency is stepping up its efforts to help schools, health organizations and other frequent targets raise their defenses. Speaking at an online event hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wales said CISA plans to more aggressively promote the documents and other resources it uses to counter ransomware incidents, especially those involving K-12 systems and hospitals, which he said "have the unenviable role right now of being so indispensable and so vulnerable" during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ben has details.

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