The Union Recorder

February 5, 2014

Police department debuts interactive website

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville Police Department unveiled a revamped website Monday featuring a simple look and interactive tools for citizen needs.

“We are excited about it and hope the public will use it to keep up with us to see what we are doing and what we can do for them,” Police Chief Dray Swicord said.

MPD’s old site was produced in-house. Swicord said the up-keep turned into “a full-time job.”

The department contracted with MRG Design to handle the load. The Las Vegas, Nev. based firm made over several other law enforcement sites before helping MPD. 

Total price tag for the complete web build out was $1,200 with a yearly service charge of $900 for 100 email accounts.

“It went well,” Swicord said. “I think it's really user-friendly, and I hope everyone will use it.”

The city police page incorporates links to pay traffic tickets, purchase accident reports and even request a speed-monitoring trailer in your neighborhood.

Citizens can also submit anonymous tips through the website.

“It will at least give people the opportunity to respond in a different way,” Swicord said.

Page visitors may sign up for text or email police department updates as well.

The police chief said more registered citizens would help the entire community react to pressing events.

Adding to a wider web footprint, MPD previously created a Facebook page that at press time had 1,324 likes.

Allen Cowart, communications supervisor for MPD, operates both the Facebook and webpage.

The social media site updates regularly with helpful traffic, weather and other important community news.

Word spreads faster through Facebook shares and posts.

“Social media is the key to everything now,” the police chief said. “We are trying to connect with people who like to use those sorts of tools to keep up with things.”

Over the last year, MPD has increased a commitment to visibility and new technology.

From a new Polaris Ranger utility vehicle anchoring downtown police coverage during warmer temperatures and an electronic parking ticket system, the department isn’t afraid of adaptation.

For the last year, the department has used an eCitations integrator, providing a pay per ticket electronic citations solution bundled with license plate recognition technology (LPR). 

The solution reduces operational costs while increasing efficiency and the overall citizen safety. Officers fill out eCitations at least three times faster with all data is sent wirelessly to the courts with no need for transcription. 

Funds from the tickets pay for the system.

“We are going to continue to try and keep up with the times,” Swicord said. “Being in a college town, it certainly helps out. I think people can understand where we are trying to go.”