County website gets $150,000 overhaul

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Checked out www.dentoncounty.com lately?

Denton County’s website received a $150,000 overhaul recently to make it cleaner, easier and more convenient to use for county-related business.

“The old system was basically an old-style website with 30,000 independent files out there … it just became unmanageable,” said Kevin Carr, the county’s director of technology services.

The process to update the website for the first time since 2002 began around three years ago, Carr said.

“The new system we have is a content management system. It will help us manage links and lets us know when files are no longer being used,” he said. “Departments have the ability to update some of their own content. Hopefully, they can make more timely updates. And we have some more modern features available to it, [including] a mobile interface, a scaled-down version of the website that is easier to read.”

Carr noted that the site now boasts social media integration and other new features.

County technology services staff members worked with Roundedcube, a St. Louis-based digital marketing and system integration agency, to set up the new site and move all the county’s files.

County Judge Mary Horn said the new site decreases the amount of time the information technology department has to put into keeping everything current and operable.

“Any time you can save time and provide more service to the public, it’s great,” Horn said.

The site has been live since July 22. Carr said staff was keeping it quiet at first to wait for people to use the site and bring any bugs or operation issues to light.

Also, when the county’s new website went live, it linked with a new online portal for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office and Argyle Police Department.

Argyle Police Chief William Tackett said the recently launched site will not only help residents find out what’s going on in their neighborhoods, but it will also allow them to request a security check while they are away.

“By being able to request security checks online, residents can be ensured more accurate data is entered since they are handling their own,” Tackett said. “They will not have to worry about us making a typo.”

Residents can use the new website to find information about sex offenders, new arrests, and calls made to dispatchers that Argyle and the sheriff’s department are responding to.

Tackett added that the software allows for other agencies to come on board.

Sheriff William Travis said that once the police-to-citizen portal is fully operational, residents will be able to go to the site to request records, submit incident information and offer input on the sheriff’s office’s services.

“We are pleased with the work Information Services has done, but we still have a bit of work to do before we can offer all the services we desire for this site,” Travis said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to take full advantage of technology to serve our citizens and keep them informed.”

Staff writer Megan Gray-Hatfield contributed to this report.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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