Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to the NEW!

If you remember the old then you already know that things look a lot different around here today. We’ve launched a completely redesigned web site that we’re pretty proud of. Allow me to give you the grand tour!

On the home page, you’ll find a link to current news which will show you the most recent news releases we’ve issued. You’ll also find a link that will give you information about how to compliment an officer. We’re also going to feature some of the many letters we receive about the good work that our officers do. There is a neighborhood link that will help you find out the police district in which you reside, and there are individual pages for each police District. It’s important for you to know who the Captain is for your police District and how you can get involved in things like Neighborhood Watch or community meetings. An informed neighborhood is usually a safer one. Get involved! The Internal Affairs link will provide you with information about how to file a complaint against an employee and there’s even a form that will allow you to begin the complaint process online. The form goes directly to a supervisor in the Internal Affairs Division and is confidential. Our most requested links are also on the homepage, including information about how to retrieve a copy of a police report, and a link to more detailed crime statistics than we’ve ever had on this website before. We’ve broken down the statistics by city neighborhood, by police District and by political ward. The Fallen Officer Memorial pays tribute to the 161 police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Finally, there are links to CrimeStoppers, (where you can report anonymous tips online even), CALEA, (the organization that awarded us an international accreditation), and the St. Louis Police Foundation which generously donates funds to the Department in an effort to help us provide the highest level of police service possible.

And all of that is on the homepage! Our former website had 22 pages, this one has more than 70 and we anticipate adding even more in the weeks and months to come.

Once inside the website, you’ll find a complete Department history from 1808 to today, information about the Department’s Senior Commanders and information about community outreach programs like the Police Athletic League and GREAT—our anti-gang program. We’ve also added in-depth information about the process of becoming a police officer. If you’re thinking of applying, you’ll definitely want to read the Careers section. We have more information about the application process than we’ve ever had before. We’ve also added a cold cases page, where each month we’ll feature a different case. If the exposure is able to generate even one new lead, it’s worth it. There is also in-depth information about various divisions of the Department as well as tips about everything from preventing fraud and identity theft to how to make sure your children are safe while surfing the internet.

One of the most significant changes is the rotating headlines that are featured. It’s our way of keeping you informed about the latest happenings inside the Department. These headlines will change frequently so you will always be in the know.

So step inside, take a look around. I think you’ll like what you see and I know that some of what you find here will help you too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We’re Opening Our Doors—Come on In!

After a four-year hiatus, the Citizens Academy is back! The Citizens Academy is a ten-week interactive course held at the Police Academy where you will learn about every aspect of the Metropolitan Police Department. Police Officers teach the course where one night a week for three hours, you’ll hear our history, learn our theories on community policing, about see the sophisticated systems we use to predict and respond to crime. You’ll also hear directly from the Police Officers assigned to special investigative units like Bomb & Arson, Homicide and CyberCrimes. Don’t worry--you won’t be sitting in a classroom simply listening to lectures. I wanted this course to be hands-on and it will be. You’ll take a spin in our driving simulator, participate in a simulation at the shooting range and see a few areas inside headquarters that are normally off-limits. My goal for this program is to build even stronger relationships with you—the citizens we serve. I think knowledge is power and you will graduate from this course with a great deal of knowledge about how the Metropolitan Police Department works, what a typical day is like for an Officer and how you can help us as we work to protect and serve the community. For more information about the Citizens Academy, email The 2009 class starts September 16th. I’ll see you there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Web Site Coming Soon!

We’ll be unveiling a new web site very soon. For many years our site has had a more advanced look than lots of other police agencies, but when it comes to content, those same police agencies had us beat. As the old saying goes, looks aren’t everything and we wanted our site to be useful, not just aesthetically pleasing. So in the days to come, you’ll see the results of seven months of hard work as these pages are completely revamped. The address will stay the same, but there will be a lot that’s different. There will be much more information about each police District, including information about your District Captain and the Officers who patrol your neighborhood. We’ll have a lengthy section of frequently asked questions, information about how to compliment an officer (which I hope you’ll do a lot of!), information about some of the programs we offer for your children and more detailed crime statistics. And while looks aren’t everything, we do think that we’ve done a pretty good job of making the site look good. Most important though, we want you to be able to come here to find just about everything you need. We hope with our new site, you’ll be able to do just that.