Click to visit the Southington Police Department’s website and you will notice it has had a complete facelift that was a year in the making.
Police Chief Jack Daly said the once “dark” and “unwelcoming” website is now “cutting edge” with a display of photos on the main page, a column of latest news, a list of most-used links, links to document downloads, and more. The new site officially launched on Jan. 25.
“We’re excited about it,” said Daly. “It’s more interactive so people get information quicker.”
Behind the creation of the website was one of the department’s own, officer Ryan Lair. With a background in web design, Lair took the reins and listened to input from department officials. He said the police department’s page needed to be “kicked into high gear,” and made to be more appealing and user friendly.
“It’s more in your face with a lot more information,” Lair said. “The last site was very plain, simple, the new one has more information that people can navigate through.”
When visiting the website one is greeted by a large photo of the department’s building welcoming the visitor to the site. Surrounding the department building photo are smaller ones that link to other pages. To the right is a photo of Chad Butler, the new Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer. Click on the picture and it links to more information on the program and Butler.
Underneath the D.A.R.E. picture is a photo of a police cruiser that links to other divisions in the department. There are also images that link to the arrest log via the department’s Facebook page, the medication drop-off box, and a photo of the chief. The chief’s section is still under construction, Lair said. There is also a “latest video” section on the homepage.
“We wanted to have a home page presence that people could actually enjoy looking at,” Lair said.
The main photograph of the police department’s building can be changed if there is a missing person case or a suspect that the public can help the police find.
“It’s just the start towards heading in a better direction,” Daly said.
The goal was to make it another way to get even more information out to the public. The department’s Facebook page has more than 5,000 “likes.” Updating the website also gives residents an opportunity to download documents instead of coming to the station.
Documents available on the website include applications for different positions in the department, and pistol permit applications.
“I think it is still going to be a work in progress,” Lair said. “We’ll look down different avenues to help the public.”