The Nassau County Police Department has a new and more modern digital profile designed to be more user friendly and increase transparency, police officials said.
After six months of renovation, the department Thursday launched its revamped website, adding new features that include an online pistol license renewal system and public access to car accident reports.
News releases and wanted posters usually emailed only to the media daily will now be posted online for the public, along with precinct-specific information about road closures and community events, police said. The site also includes links to the department's recently beefed-up social media presence through Twitter and Facebook.
"Really, it comes down to serving our community better," Acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Thursday during a preview of the new site at police headquarters in Mineola. "This is just improving the customer service and improving the efficiency of the organization. . . . It's the department's desire to be transparent and let the public know what's going on."
Plainview-based Infosys International Inc. performed the work after it was selected through a bidding process, police said. It was paid for with $300,000 in crime proceeds seized through the department's asset forfeiture unit.
Infosys also plans to add home and business alarm permit renewal and online applications for public records to the site. The online pistol permit renewal begins May 1. Additionally, the company created a free smartphone app for Crime Stoppers.
"The kids today -- nobody's calling us anymore. They want to text it to us," said Insp. Kenneth Lack, a department spokesman.
Police brass acknowledge the site is a major digital step forward for the department.
"We knew that for a long time our public Web page needed to be updated significantly," said Deputy Chief of Support Services Edmund Horace, who oversaw the website overhaul and called it a "significant improvement."
Krumpter said the online pistol permitting will "free-up literally thousands of man hours to do other investigations."
The county's more than 26,000 pistol permits have to be renewed every five years. Typically, it takes several months to process a renewal, a timeline officials hope to streamline into a few weeks.
The county's crime statistics -- available on the old site -- are listed under "Strat-Com" and are more comprehensive, now including year-to-year comparisons and accompanying graphs.
Another new feature on the website: a "compliments and complaints" section that allows the public to offer praise and criticism via email.
Asked who would read the emails, Krumpter joked, "The compliments are coming right up to the commissioner's office."