The Moffat County Sheriff's Department has moved into cyberspace with its new Internet Web site at www.moffatcountysheriff.com.
Sheriff's Department officials expect the technology to help the community learn more about the Sheriff's Department and law enforcement in general.
"I think it is a benefit on both sides of the coin," said K.C. Hume, Sheriff's Department detective. "It provides information to them about the Sheriff's Department while allowing them to contact us. I think everyone benefits from this type of technology."
The Internet home page explains some of the history and statistics about Moffat County. Visitors to the site will first view scenic photos of the Moffat County landscape as they read informational items about the county.
From the home page a visitor has options about where they can go.
The administration page allows visitors to learn facts about the civil process in Moffat County such as costs for different procedures. Anyone interested in applying for a concealed weapons permit may also print a copy of the permit application.
The investigations page gives visitors the opportunity to learn about investigations the Sheriff's Department is working. There is also a "hot tips" portion to the page that people can access to provide information on crimes. There is a secure form that comes up when someone wants to contribute information. People may use a nickname and remain anonymous if they want.
"I think it will make it easier for those people who have reservations about giving information," said Hume.
If a visitor clicks on the most wanted section, photos and descriptions of people with warrants for their arrest in Moffat County come up. People who have information on these fugitives are asked to either call the Sheriff's Department or use the hot tips form on the Web page.
"We want to make sure that people don't go out and try and apprehend these suspects themselves," said Sheriff Buddy Grinstead,. "We would appreciate those who know information on these suspects to contact us."
There is also a part of the sight that highlights one of the larger cases the Sheriff's Department is working. The Marie Blee case is profiled.
"It allows us to do a Reader's Digest version of the what happened for people who are curious," said Grinstead.
Emergency Management, Detention, Public Safety Center and Sheriff's Posse pages provide information and history about these areas.
"There is a lot of interesting information that will allow people to learn by visiting these pages," said Hume. "It gives people the opportunity to find out about the services that they provide."
The Public Safety Center page will also feature photos of construction on the facility as it progresses.
At the Patrol Page people can sign up over a secure site for vacation house checks. Information such as the address of the house they want patrolled along with what cars will be on the property and how many lights were left on can be entered and sheriff's deputies can patrol the house while the owner is away.
The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) page will provide information about the program and will allow people to e-mail D.A.R.E. officer K.C. Hume.
"It basically expands our ability to communicate with the public," said Hume.
In the future, Grinstead wants to add a list of registered sex offenders in Moffat County. The reason the list isn't already on the site is the law isn't clear when it comes to using the Internet to post this type of list. According to Grinstead, the law is changing and this type of information will be legal to post on the Internet.
"I had wanted to post the registered sex offenders, but there is some gray area in the law," said Grinstead. "My hope is to get that up and running. I think that our community needs to know who is living among us."
Grinstead believes the Web site will be an asset to both the Sheriff's Department and the community.
"It expands our ability to communicate with the community and them to communicate with us," said Grinstead.