Wednesday, March 8, 2006
New Online Look for LAPDLos Angeles: Chief Bratton unveils the latest in LAPD technology, a new look and feel for the Department's website.
In Spring of 2004 Lightray was retained by the Department to overhaul and redesign the existing website. The LAPD's Online Unit had been updating the site manually turning it into a sprawling 10,000 pages of non-database driven information. Because of Chief Bratton's new leadership and a need to change quickly, the first step was to provide the Department with a
face-lift for the existing site.
Simultaneously, a critical analysis was done of the existing content and what should be updated most often, and how the language of the site could be translated from typical police jargon to layman terminology. The visual refresh was a tremendous success and, website hits increased 20%.
During the evaluation, it became clear that staffing limitations within the department required that the site just not be informational, but also an engaging tool used by both officers and the community to extend the effectiveness of the LAPD overall.
Previously, crime statistics were relayed solely via COMPSTAT, a spreadsheet familiar to the department but not easily interpreted by the public. It was clear that the key to getting people engaged in safety was to make them aware of crime, and crime trends within the radius of their own homes. The results were tailored maps to reflect crime statistics.
Division Captains and officers wanted a way to easily e-mail their constituents. They needed a department-wide solution that collected emails in one place and then segregated the addresses according to the senior lead officers that patrolled their neighborhood. By requesting the user to type in their address and zip code, the LAPD could cross-reference their location with the corresponding patrol unit. In the process, Lightray built a simple step-by-step administrative newsletter tool, E-Policing that allows officers in every division to easily create and re-use templates, process crime alerts, work with existing divisional CAD units, and send emails to the people that sign up and live in the area they patrol.
Intersecting, the option to receive an e-policing newsletter at the moment a user was typing in an address to check out crime in his or her area maximizes the success this technology will provide the LAPD.