"If we receive the grant, the website will provide us with a way to reach out to the community," said Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "Local residents will also be able to use the website to contact us with tips and information related to cases."
The proposed Barry County Sheriff's Department website would offer a message from the sheriff with information on cases that the department is currently working on and other things going on at the sheriff's department.
Residents would also be able to access a local registered sex offender map through the website.
"They would be able to bring up a map of the county that indicates the address of each registered sex offender," said Epperly. "When they click on the offender's location, it will bring up a picture and arrest information so that people will know where these people are at in the community and who they are."
The website could include historical information on the sheriff's department, such as photos of past sheriffs and information on the county's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
|"We could post information on DARE training and DARE graduation ceremony times and information on other events on the site," said Epperly.|
A link to sheriff's department press releases, information on most wanted criminals and tip hotline numbers will also be available on the website.
"We will be able to let people know who we are looking for, whether they are someone who is wanted for passing bad checks or on drug charges," said Epperly. "We will also be able to place our drug task force hotline number on the website."
Information from the Barry County Jail, including a message from the administrator and an inmate roster, will be offered on the department's website.
"We often have people call and ask if John Doe is in jail," said Epperly. "With this, people can just pull up the inmate roster and know if someone is here and what they have been charged with."
The website will indicate the total current jail population and a list of individuals who have been released from the jail within the last 48 hours.
"This is all public record, so once they have been charged we will be able to put the information up," said Epperly.
On April 17, the Barry County Commission approved a $18,244 bid from Brooks-Jeffrey, Inc., for the development of the website. Bid approval is contingent on the county receiving the JAG grant for the website project.
Brooks-Jeffrey, Inc., has been working with the sheriff's department to write the grant for the website. The department should receive grant approval within the next 30 to 60 days, said Epperly.
If the grant is approved, the website will be developed to work directly with the sheriff's department's information technology software. No extra staff will be needed to maintain the website.
"This will be something that people in the community will be able to check periodically and a good way for us to get information out to people," said Epperly. "We will also be able to post current employment opportunities on the site with hiring requirements."
If the JAG grant is approved, the Barry County Sheriff's Department website could be on-line by August.