In an effort to make communication with residents easier the Howell Township Police Department has developed a new website with more interactive features.
The website, Chief Ronald Carter, said took several months to develop and he believes the residents will see the benefits of the work put in. The site was developed with help from Capt. Andy Kudrick, Telecomunications Officer Evan Keats and Communications and Network Supervisor Steven Gerrity.
Chief Carter said he was proud of what the page has become thanks to the work of his officers. "The new website is proof that the Howell Police are passionate about doing all we can to provide the highest quality of service to the citizens we serve and protect," he said. "We pride ourselves on being extremely responsive to the needs of the community."
Capt. Kudrick said the new site includes a "vibrant display of color and graphics," including a picture of one of the department's patrol cars. Scrolling through the site visitors can learn more about the department's history, contact information and forms and records among other sections.
Kudrick said residents can also access searchable topics and OPRA forms as well as documents for firearms and fingerprints. Press releases will also be available as will a section for submitting anonymous tips.
In a press release from the department Kudrick said another feature of the new site is the ability for residents to file a police report. "Budgetary constraints have resulted in a 20 percent reduction of Howell police officers," the release said. "As such, Chief Carter had to make the unfortunate decision to cut certain police services."
The cuts have included dealing with cases like petty thefts, minor vandalism, lost property and civil, non emergency matters, according to the release. The new site allows residents to "self report," those incidents. "The reports are reviewed, approved and filed by an officer at headquarters," the release said. "This self reporting allows the partorl officer to concentrate on high priority calls and self-initiated activities as well as traffic enforcement and crime prevention."
Capt. Kudrick gave credit to Keats whose work on the site enabled the department to do the update for less than $500. "This website would have cost us in excess of $5000 if we had hired a vendor," he said. "He designed the webpage, adjusted his schedule and fronted the money for the program. There's no doubt the overall success of this website is a direct result of efforts put forth by Telecommunicator Keats."
Calling the newly designed site, "a benchmark within the law enforcement community," Kudrick said the residents of the township are encouraged to provide feedback on the newly designed page. "The public is invited to explore and evaluate the site," he said. "We encourage feedback as continued improvement is critical to overall excellence."
Over the past year the Howell Police Department and the township have each unveiled new websites and also Facebook pages.