Smartphone app helping clean up Phoenix neighborhoods

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Tired of trash? Want to say goodbye to graffiti? Would you like to see overgrown yards go by the wayside? Well, there's a way to call it in to Phoenix Neighborhood Services without ever having to dial a phone. Although, it does start with your phone.

Two years ago, the city began a pilot program with a smartphone app called MyPhxAz. Simply snap a photo of blight, write a description and send it in to Neighborhood Services with just a few clicks. Within a couple of days, a case is started and an investigator will look into it.

"They are all followed up," said Neighborhood Services manager Sandy Estrella.

Neighborhood Services handles about 60,000 cases a year, 200 of which are initiated by the smartphone app every month.

If an investigator substantiates the case, the violator could face penalties, including fines, if the problem isn't fixed.