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Attending the National Sheriff Education and Technology Expo

Surrounded by virtual reality bomb training scenarios, portable jail cells and police demonstrations, (spark) Agency’s bright yellow booth stuck out at the 2019 National Sheriff Education and Technology Expo, held at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Prior to attending the conference as an exhibitor, (spark) conducted research into law enforcement and county sheriff websites utilizing their on-site strategy and research department. This exploration not only returned valuable user data for future use, but also brought to light a singular theme: poor user experience across most counties. Many are so dated that they are unable to be displayed for mobile phones, which is the main way the public accesses these sites.

Most sheriff websites typically provide information for the community in a variety of ways, including:

  • Departmental information pages
  • Public forms and information
  • Calendar of events and community happenings
  • Crime Tips & Prevention
  • Property Tax Values and payment systems

By not having access to these vital community resources, citizen’s experience with a sheriff’s department can be directly impacted and cause constituents to have a potentially adverse view of their role within that county. It can also cause a higher workload for county employees that are flooded with calls from users so confused by the website that they instead call the office to obtain answers.-

After speaking to both attendees and other exhibitors, it became clear that many users of sheriff and county websites have similar feelings to those expressed in prior research – they are often hard to use and ineffective for the public.

(spark) attended the conference in hopes of partnering alongside communities to provide easy, affordable and comprehensive communications solutions for city, county, state, and federal government offices and programs. By displaying a sheriff website that had been redesigned with the community’s needs in mind, (spark) was able to prove that a sheriff’s office website can not only be a functional asset for county programs, but also provide excellent user experiences for the public. As the digital face of the sheriff’s office, (spark) is able to bring these websites the modern design and streamlined functionality they should display.

If you are a local business or law enforcement company interested in hearing more about how your brand could best reach its community, please reach out to John Rivers III at jrivers@leapsparkagency.com.