The Winston-Salem Police Department has added an animated virtual police officer to its web site to assist visitors with visual and audible instructions for using the site. Virtual Officer Maria Evans appears on the department home page and on select other pages that are frequently visited.
With Officer Evans' help, users will find it easier to file an online police report, look at crime trends and statistics, get crime prevention tips, contact police recruiters and search police reports through the police-to-citizen web site.
This virtual helper is compatible with all computer systems and only requires the free Adobe Flash Player in order to run. Officer Evans can be dismissed if users desire to explore the WSPD website on their own.
Police Chief Scott Cunningham says the virtual officer will be especially helpful to first-time visitors. "We are continually looking for ways to make it easier to provide information, and make it easier for our citizens to interact with their police department and get information," he said.
When users go to the Police Department home page, Officer Evans welcomes them with a special pop-up menu offering links to selected pages. Officer Evans appears on each of those links with additional pop-up menus. For example, clicking on the "Incident Searching & Mapping" link takes visitors to www.WSPDP2C.org, where she helps visitors search through police records.
Officer Maria Evans was programmed and customized for the Police Department by CodeBaby, an Internet software developer.
Winston-Salem Police Department web site (www.WSPD.org )
The police-to-citizen (P2C) web site to search through police records