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Local police department launches new website

The new site will allow officers to communicate more effectively with residents


by: JASON CHANEY - The new Prineville Police Department website launched this week.

During the past few weeks, the City of Prineville has announced multiple efforts to improve communication with local residents.

This past week, they took another step in that direction as the Prineville Police Department launched a new website.

"Originally, the police department just had a page on the city's website," said James Wilson, the city's information technology manager. "But really, the law enforcement function, there is more to that. It needs more than just a couple (web) pages."

Prineville Police Captain Michael Boyd concurred, saying the prior web page was very limited.

"We had wanted to have a website for some time now," he said.

The new site, which went live this week, provides new features intended to help the police department interact with the community they serve more effectively. To that end, it will provide direct contact information for every part of the department and will enable police to provide online updates to citizens.

"It's one more opportunity for us to get information out to the community as quickly and directly as possible about events, about trends, those kinds of things," Boyd said. "And, it's a chance for them to give us feedback."

Boyd called the newly-launched site a good start, and he hopes to add more content and make better use of the medium as time passes.

"Eventually, we will have it where our officers will have their own email lists for their neighborhoods (they serve)," he said. "When something is happening in their neighborhood, they can send out information about that."

When it came time to build the long-awaited site, Boyd said that they were fortunate to have a detective, Tom Kurtz, who knew how to design web sites.

“It was a partnership,” Boyd said. “Tom came up with the basic layout and our city IT guys are the ones who made it work.”

The new website follows the launch of a Twitter account by local law enforcement agencies and the Crook County Health Department as well as recently announced plans to create a city-run low power FM radio station.

As it turns out, there could be more to come. Boyd noted that they now intend to pursue a Facebook page.

“The public now expects to hear about stuff soon and there are so many ways to do it. We are not blazing a trail, but we are heading down a successful path,” he said. “We are just going to be building from here.”




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