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MATHENY INTRODUCED TO LEAD DGI

DGI board chair Gary Brame introduced Zack Matheny as the booster organization’s next president and CEO during a press conference Thursday at the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Matheny, who resigned from his seat on the Greensboro City Council on June 16, joked that his was the shortest retirement in history before promising to get down to the serious business of restoring Downtown Greensboro Inc.’s reputation and viability.

Brame introduced Matheny to a sizable crowd of city officials and business leaders including the mayor and most council members, businessman Roy Carroll, entrepreneur Andy Zimmerman, realtor Sam Simpson, and others.

Brame said that a lot of DGI’s work goes on behind the scenes, and discussed a new beautification initiative that is currently underway. Brame said the group’s focus will remain on building partnerships with the city and being accountable to downtown Business Improvement District taxpayers.

DGI conducted a national search for its next president, Brame said, and received resumes from applicants in 11 cities. Matheny stood out due to his vision for downtown, Brame said.

Matheny took the podium to a standing ovation before thanking his wife and parents for their support.

“I’ve served this city every since I got here,” Matheny said. “Greensboro embraced me and made it my home.”

Matheny said he wanted to give downtown Greensboro “all I’ve got” and thanked the DGI board, promising to work together with the board to build the organization’s vision.

“I appreciate the board and their willingness to give me this opportunity,” he said.

Matheny said his first task would be to learn to report to a board, after having served a decade on city council, but promised results.

“I think things are going to change.

You’re going to see what DGI does,” he said.

During his speech, Matheny mentioned ongoing projects, such as Union Square, the performing arts center, and construction projects completed or ongoing by Carroll and John Lomax.

“Three years from now … it’s going to be difficult to recognize Greensboro, especially downtown Greensboro,” he said. Matheny promised to work hard and bring DGI back to its mission. He said his goal was for there “never to be a question about the viability of DGI.”

Reiterating the transition from elected official to the head of an organization that answers to a board, Matheny promised to listen, saying DGI planned a town hall meeting soon to gain feedback from stakeholders.

“We’re going to look at things through new eyes,” Matheny said. “I want everyone to feel the difference in the heartbeat of downtown.”

When asked if he envisioned a structural change to DGI’s organization, Matheny demured. Board chair Brame said DGI would put together a performance plan for the next 30 days.

GREENSBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES NEW APP TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC AN ADDITIONAL WAY TO CONNECT

The Greensboro Police Department is offering a new way for people to stay connected with its officers and in touch with crime and safety issues that are important to them through a new app called “My Police Department” or “MyPD” for short.

The free MyPD app allows users to download an app for their Android or iPhone and easily connect with the police department right from their device.

The secure app has approximately 40 features that users can turn on or off depending on what they want to display at certain times. The MyPD app design is easy to use, and supports Police Chief Wayne Scott’s strategy of expanding GPD’s community outreach efforts to better connect with residents, business owners, and citizens.

“The beauty of the MyPD app is that it combines many of our existing communication methods into one easy-to-use platform,” said Crime Prevention Officer E.Y. Watkins. “Another great feature is the push notifications. Users can receive information that we send through Twitter, Facebook or our dashboard – even they don’t have social media accounts. We encourage users to opt in to messages if they want to be informed quickly of new updates or alerts.”

The app also provides people with information on crime and safety issues by providing links to a number of resources: crimemappring, Crime Stoppers, victim resources, domestic violence help, press releases, missing children, and many more.

Sending in tips about crimes or other quality of life issues is another way citizens can use the Greensboro Police MyPD app. It allows the user to either attach their contact information or send it anonymously.

Photos and GPS locations of incidents can also be attached from either the phones gallery or live camera.

Users may also communicate with GPD through an interface that sends emails or directly dials to key department personnel.

While the app links to or integrates with some social media, is not another social network. “We have been using social media like Facebook and Twitter for years,” said Watkins. “The MyPD app is not meant to replace those or be another social network. It is a single-source tool for people to communicate with GPD.”

The app includes one fun component where users can “unlock” badges and climb in rank the more they use the app and interact with the police department.

MyPD is free for users, secure, and contains no advertising. Users do not need to share personal information or set up an account to use the app. Any information sharing is optional and, if shared, will help the department to better understand who is using the app, how they found it, and if they live or work in the city.

People looking to connect with Greensboro police should search for “MyPD” in their app store. Once the app is downloaded and Greensboro is selected, the app will always open to GPD and its resources.” !

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