Sheriff's Website Produces Staggering Numbers
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Website has continued to be extremely popular far exceeding our expectations when it was first launched. This past year was no exception with again more than 2.5 million visits to our website in 2017 (2,555,660), and more than 11,600 likes to our Sheriff’s Facebook page (11,605) along with several thousand people who have signed up to receive ‘alerts’ for various releases, notifications and events that the Sheriff’s Office reports.
In July the Sheriff’s Office upgraded our website to an Interactive website and launched a state of the art mobile app, giving the user more options and easier navigation. In that month of July approximately 77,000 unique visitors viewed our website. The numbers are staggering for Baxter County which has a population of approximately 42,000 people. Broken down for statistical purposes, this represents more than 59,000 ‘Unique’ Visitors each month.
Broken down even more in 2017 to the most popular:
Month, July with 261,335 Visitors, and August with 250,700 Most popular time looked is between 8-9 am
The website was created and launched in November of 2007 with the concept of not just having a web presence were people looked up an address or phone number but a true working website. Without a doubt it has far exceeded our expectations. The idea of a working website was pitched to a local company, Brooks Jeffery Marketing who developed this very unique website that utilized technology to help us be transparent and utilize the public to help us solve crime and catch the ‘bad guys’.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s website also allows people to sign up to receive alerts by email, text message and now a mobile app when things are published. The person signing up has a choice to receive alerts for sex offender’s notifications, press releases, Sheriff’s newsletters, most wanted, employment postings and more. Several thousand people have currently signed up to receive these notifications with that number growing each month.
The website also features the crime tip module allows people to submit crime tips and photos and remain anonymous. This tip submission module resulted in several arrests in 2017. Most of the features and tabs on the website are automated and update automatically saving time and money for our employees.
After launching the inmate roster online a few years ago, jail staff noticed a decrease in phone calls by approximately 50%. The inmate roster shows who is currently in jail as well as those who have been released in the past 48 hours. It too is automated, updating automatically every 15 minutes. The inmate roster continues to be the most viewed web page on the website. Several thousand people have also have signed up to receive the inmate roster alert, receiving one email every morning at 6 am with the list of everyone that has been booked in the Baxter County Detention Center in the past 24 hours.
Over fifteen hundred arrests have been made from our most wanted as well as many suspects being identified and arrested from the posting of surveillance photos. The total number of outstanding warrants dropped by over 900 after just two short years with tips coming in from other states resulting in warrants be served that were issued as far back as 1999.
We want to thank the public for their continued support. We are blessed to live in a community where the public and law enforcement work together to keep Baxter County the great place it is to live and raise and family.
Sheriff John Montgomery