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Kanawha sheriff website makes debut

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Starting Thursday, Kanawha County residents will be able to pay their taxes online, check to see if there's an arrest warrant out for their next-door neighbor or email a crime tip to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff's department is debuting their new website, www.kanawhasheriff.us, after a year of development.

"It's going to alleviate a lot of phone calls we'd ordinarily get," said Sheriff Johnny Rutherford. "It's just a more efficient way to do business."

On the new website, users can browse menus that include every department within the sheriff's department and what they do, look up contact information, download forms, pay their taxes, email tips and peruse special events and public announcements. Sarah Chapman, information technology manager for the sheriff's tax office, spent the past year working with Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the sheriff's department to help develop the site.

"Parts of it are fairly complex, with all the databases," explained Chapman.

Rutherford said Chapman was able to develop features on the website that don't require more than an extra keystroke or two on the parts of deputies. "It's taking just seconds more to do what we're doing," he said.

Humphreys said the warrants section of the website is one of the most exciting. Users can search the site by regions of the county, or search by name to view active arrest warrants.

Think your neighbor is wanted for a warrant? You can check the site, then call or email the sheriff's department. Not sure if there's a warrant out for your arrest? You can search for your own name, and there's a section of the website that tells you how to turn yourself in.

"We check every warrant the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department has two or three times a week," Rutherford said.

"People make mistakes," he said. "If there's a warrant on you and you didn't know it, you can turn yourself in."

The site also includes the latest sheriff's department press releases and a link to the sheriff's department Twitter feed.

Several buttons at the bottom of each page link to the site's often-used features, including the tip line, warrant section and a section on concealed weapons permits. There, users can review state law on pistol permits, find out how to get one, and download the necessary forms.

Users can also download other forms, like job applications.

Humphreys said there is also a frequently asked questions feature on the site, and the site provides information on just about everything the sheriff's department does.

"A lot of the questions that would ordinarily be phoned in, folks can find the answers in here," he said. The site also includes contact phone numbers for various divisions within the sheriff's department.

Rutherford said Chapman and Humphreys looked at about 100 police websites around the country, and borrowed the best features in building the new site.

The site officially debuts Thursday, but was up and running a day earlier, Humphreys said.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.

 


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