LAW ENFORCEMENT RECONNECTS WITH LOCALS
Meg Elwood // March 29, 2017
STATESBORO - The Statesboro Police Department’s newly renovated website aims to create a safer community and a stronger relationship between members of law enforcement and the citizens they protect.
The site was created as a team effort from members of the police department, mayor's office and Capstone Technology Solutions. Each side gave specific input on content included on the website, but their overall goal was to create a user-friendly platform for the community to easily access for fast information and communication.
Sgt. Jason Saxon of the Statesboro PD was directly involved with the website’s creation and said it is a big step in transparency for them.
This is helpful for the police department and members of the community to identify areas of high and low crime.
Saxon said that he has received multiple calls from parents of GS students that ask for information about activity in certain areas, but with the availability of the Crime Map, concerned parents are able to research areas instantly themselves.
As a mother of two, Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore believes it is important that citizens and people looking to live in the area, specifically college students who are going to stay for four to five years, have resources like the Crime Map so they are aware of the activity around them.
“They need to know what’s going on in town, what parts of town have more crime than others, so they can make informed decisions about where to live and shop...at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you go to school if you’re not safe,” Moore said.
University Police Chief Laura McCullough said that the University PD works closely with the Statesboro PD to provide a connection between the campus and Statesboro community.
A link to the Crime Map can also be found on the Public Safety page on the university website for prospective students to view.
According to Stuart Gregory, the Principle of Capstone Technology Solutions, 83 percent of internet traffic from the college student demographic is mobile-device-based.
"We put a lot of information out there [on the website] for the public to see about us and the crime in the area, so I think it'll help the public to be more informed about what's going on," Saxon said.
One of the site’s most notable features is the Crime Map. The map is powered by CrimeReports, a service tied into the police department’s management software which documents and organizes reported crimes to a geographical map of the community.
A student page was formatted specifically for mobile devices and lists five options that are valuable to students; submit a tip, vacation watch, crime map, report a tow and pay a ticket.
The option for students to have the ability to give anonymous tips was a personal favorite feature of Moore’s. Moore said people are often timid to refer to their apartment management for help, in fear that their anonymity may be exposed.
When a student reports in the tips section, there is no way to track that tip down and it can not be subpoenaed since it goes to a server in Canada.
“It’s my hope that students will begin to use this and get those people in apartment complexes, that are not there for the right reasons, out,” Moore said.
To date, the website has had more than 93 hundred views since it’s initial launch on Jan 1, 2017.
According to Gregory, users go through an average of 1.71 web pages per session, which he said is a good thing, in that users are getting to the site, finding what they need and leaving. An ideal user experience for the modern-day website.
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Screen Shot images are taken from SPD Website.
Header image courtesy of Kelly Lowery