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Class project becomes redesigned Stratford Police website

Monday, February 6, 2017

Students who worked as a team in a Global Business and Digital Arts course last year can now see their research and design efforts live and used everyday by the public. Story from the Stratford Beacon Herald, February 5, 2017:


Stratford police partner with University of Waterloo for updated website

A partnership between Stratford Police and University of Waterloo Stratford campus students has led to the creation of a new police website and an updated social media strategy.

Police unveiled the redesigned and refreshed site this week.

“We want to have a website that reflects our professional approach to policing, but it also has to be very accessible and user friendly,” said Insp. Gerry Foster Friday.

The old one was a little dated, he said.

So last year, police approached the university about a collaboration to update the site, and to develop a new social media strategy.

Police website screen captureIt became a class project for undergraduate students in the Global Business and Digital Arts program.

Students divided into teams, visited the George Street police station, and spoke to officers and staff before building their sites.

A panel of judges, which included Foster, Police Chief Mike Bellai, Insp. Sam Theocharis, Const. Dave Stewart and other officers, reviewed the submissions and selected their favourite.

“This was a very difficult challenge, because they were some very impressive designs,” said Foster.

In the end, the panel selected the site created by the “Mystery Inc.” team of Jensen Chadee, Megan Demaree, Razan Qaoud, Tom Richards and Vivian Tian.

“It was just the way it was laid out, the way you could interact with the site, and the way it incorporated other features like our Facebook and Twitter accounts,” said Theocharis of the winning design. “The main thing for us was ease of use.”

The finished site features a fresh, modern look, with links to a number of helpful police service and community resources.

website screen capture showing student designer names in footer

The Stratford Police Service website footer acknowledges the student designers: "Created by the University of Waterloo Stratford CampusJensen ChadeeMegan DemareeRazan QauodTom Richards, and Vivian Tian"

There’s a news and events section, a list of services provided, information on things like background checks, noise bylaws and fines, and an overview of how to report an emergency.A crime prevention and safety section outlines programs related to missing and vulnerable persons, block parents and domestic violence.

Links to the police service’s new Facebook page (Stratford Police Service) and its primary Twitter account (@StratfordPolic1) are also featured prominently on the new site.

But perhaps its most interesting feature is the interactive crime map, which uses a geographic information system (GIS) to map public calls for service.

Users can search for and display the approximate locations of recent and historical calls for things like assaults, break and enters, drugs and motor vehicle collisions.

The information can be filtered by police zone, date and even day of the week.

The new Stratford Police Service website can be found at www.stratfordpolice.com

mbeitz@postmedia.com 

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