Oak Bay Police Department’s new website launched this morning. (Screenshot)

Oak Bay police launch ‘nimble web presence’

New website aims to increase communication with residents

Oak Bay Police Department ups its online presence with a new website Wednesday.

“We’ve had a web presence on the district’s site but we wanted an autonomous, easy to find, more nimble web presence,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

The oakbaypolice.org site is another step in a noticeable online presence with Oak Bay police on Twitter more frequently, and taking part in social media conversations.

“Recently, a woman posted that she had lost her drivers licence on a local FB page,” Bernoties said. “Moments later, I overheard someone turning in a found driver’s licence at our front counter. I simply posted that we had it and she came in and got it. That’s a very minor example of how well this can work.”

Online presence is a tool to enhance communication with residents, key in maintaining trust and confidence, as well as in operational situations,” he says.

“We’ve been investing a lot of time into enhancing our connection with Oak Bay residents through social media and I think its paying off,” Bernoties said. “People like to get their info directly when its possible, and I think it usually is possible, it just takes a bit of time for the organization.”

The website features a message from Chief Constable Andy Brinton as well as links to Block Watch, the new bike registry, crime maps and images of found property.

It also outlines integrated policing initiatives for example how Oak Bay configures with the Vancouver Island Major Crimes Unit that covers homicides; missing persons where foul play is suspected; police-related shootings causing bodily harm and/or death; police in-custody deaths, and unsolved homicides. The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $90,541 to this unit in 2017.


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