Tisbury Police Department launches a new website

The Tisbury Police Department has a new website. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Tisbury Police Department launched a new website last week. Forms and information useful to the public are now available at www.tisburypolice.org.

Tisbury Police Chief Dan Hanavan said the website is the product of many hours of work by Special Officer Ryan Natichioni and Patricia (Patti) Mark. He said the goal for the website is to reach out to the community by providing helpful information.

“We didn’t really have a website, and after looking around and seeing what other police departments had on and off-Island, we got the idea we should have one, as well,” Chief Hanavan said.

The website includes contact information and descriptions of the roles of the chief, sergeants, and officers, as well as information about how the department’s different divisions operate. In addition, the website includes several downloadable forms such as firearms identification and license to carry applications, requests for information such as police reports, and motor vehicle accident reports.

There is also information about services the department offers such as taxi licensing, infant and child car seat installations, prescription drug take-back days, and oversight of Tisbury’s Park and Ride lot. The website includes links to local transportation contact information under the taxi licensing section and to the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority’s website under the Park and Ride section.

“Hopefully this will cut down on some of the busy work for Patti, especially at the lobby window during the summer,” Officer Natichioni said. “It’s a helpful tool for people and an important addition to the department in keeping up with the times.”

Chief Hanavan gave high praise to Ms. Mark and Officer Natichioni for having the know-how and determination to bring the idea to fruition.

Ms. Mark said it began with an informal discussion among several members of the police department about not having their own website. Although the town of Tisbury’s website has a page dedicated to the police department, it contains basic contact information and inactive links to other information.

Officer Natichioni mentioned to Ms. Mark that he had a friend who put together a website, and asked him how it was done. “His friend gave him the connections, so we started by looking at other websites, on and off-island, to see how they were put together,” she said. “Ryan’s the one who is computer savvy, so I did the writing about the divisions and services we have, got everything approved by the chief, and then Ryan uploaded it onto the site. He also took the photos we used.”

It took a lot of coordination and communication, given their schedules. “We’re mostly on different shifts,” Ms. Mark said. “I’m eight to four, and he works a lot of nights, so I’d leave notes, he’d put something up, and I’d check it the next day. It took us about eight weeks.”

“She’s been very diligent in motivating me,” Officer Natichioni said. “It’s been a slow and steady process, though. It was difficult to try to get things done in-between the sirens. It took the better part of two months, and a lot more hours than I expected.”

Nonetheless, he and Ms. Mark kept chipping away at it, and the first website experience for both of them went very well. The end result also saved the department some money. “It’s very expensive to outsource website creation, and we don’t have the funding right now,” Officer Natichioni pointed out.

“It’s been a very exciting project,” Ms. Mark said. “We know once it’s up online we’ll still be tweaking and adding things as we go.”

One of those items is an email address for contacting the police department, which Ms. Marks said is expected to be activated very soon.