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Website overhaul a boon to all

We like the Denton County government’s updated website, and if you haven’t checked out lately, you need to take a look.

The website has undergone a $150,000 overhaul to make it cleaner, easier and more convenient to use, and we think county taxpayers will approve.

We also believe the changes may help coax more area residents into the current century and convince them to take advantage of what the county has available online.

In addition to a new look, the site now boasts social media integration and other new features, said Kevin Carr, the county’s director of technology services.

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

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.

Argyle Police Chief William Tackett said the addition 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 doing security checks online, Tackett told us, residents can ensure that all data is more accurate. He said residents can also use the new website to find information about sex offenders, new arrests and calls made to dispatchers that Argyle police and the Sheriff’s Office are handling. The software allows for other agencies to come on board.

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.

This is the first time the website has been updated since 2002, and the process began about three years ago, Carr said, after the old system became unmanageable.

This new content management system will help the county manage links and let staff members know when files are no longer being used, Carr said. Departments now have the ability to update some of their own content, which will hopefully allow for more timely updates and more modern features such as a mobile interface, which is a scaled-down version of the website that is easier to read.

County Judge Mary Horn said the new site should not only improve service but also save money by decreasing the amount of time staff members spend keeping information current and operable.

In our view, that’s a winning combination, and we look forward to using the new website and seeing what other services will be added.

A wealth of information is just a click away.