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Sheriff's Office unveils new Web site

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
Every day, new items are popping up on the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office’s new Web site, promising a more user-friendly experience.
The site can be accessed through Rowan County’s new site, which was launched last month or directly at www.rowansheriff.org.
“It’s the new county Web site that is allowing us to be able to do these types of things,” Sheriff George Wilhelm said.
Some features, such as information about sex offenders and programs like DARE, have always been part of the Sheriff’s Office site.
Recently, however, officials have added a search engine to look up active warrants. Also, recent crimes and wanted persons can be found under the Criminal Investigations link.
“We try to make it easy for people to find out things about the Sheriffs Office,” Wilhelm said.
If the Sheriff’s Office has filed an arrest warrant against someone, that person’s name will appear under the warrant list, Wilhelm explained.
Once the person has been arrested, he said, the office enters the arrest into the computer system, which closes out a warrant file.
A name-search option can be accessed by last, first or middle name. If a current photo is available, it will appear under the person’s name.
“It’s in real-time or up-to-date,” Wilhelm said.
Other elements have been enhanced, including the active inmate list. The office had an inmate list on its old site, which used to be updated every day at midnight.
Now, when a suspect is booked into the jail, the information becomes available immediately. And when an inmate is released, the information is removed.
That part of the site also includes photos and charges against the suspect.
In the event the county is housing an inmate at another facility because of overcrowding at the local jail, the name would still appear on the Rowan Sheriff’s Office site.
“It would show that they are here,” Wilhelm said.
The site frees up deputies who used to spend time looking up inmate information in the department’s in-house database.
And it allows a citizen with Internet access to keep tabs on a suspect from home.
“It’s just as easy for you to look it up as it is for officers,” Wilhelm said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Kluttz, the special projects coordinator, maintains and updates the site, along with the department’s information technology staff. And he develops community programs that will eventually appear on the site’s online calendar.
“It’s going to be an ongoing process,” he said.
The office has no exact count of how many people have visited the new Web site, but Wilhelm hopes those who have return to further explore it.
“It should improve public awareness,” he said. “Even just for information purposes, it is an advantage.”
He said the Sheriff’s Office hopes to do more with the site, such as adding information about how to start a Neighborhood Watch program or how to get deputies to your community to help a DARE program or other initiative. Wilhelm said he hopes those items will be up and running within the next month or so.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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