Desktop Alert Founders Launch Nations 1st Police Website 1995, 1st Police Website In The United States

  • Desktop Alert is now used by the U.S. National Guard Nationwide and U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Agencies Worldwide.
  • Special thanks to Sgt. William O’Kula for his vision and insight’s which ultimately resulted in the success of our Award Wining First Responder Mass Notification Platform.

In 1995, Howard Ryan promoted and launched New York’s Suffolk County Police Department website for what would become the 1st Police Website in the United States. The site represented the 1st U.S. police agency to utilize the Internet to provide mass notification to the public.

1995 Letter of Thanks from the Suffolk County Police Department.Some browsers may require a right-click and zoom to read the text. This picture was taken during a live news conference.

Here is the exact Newsday Copy:10-12-1995, pp A25.

Casting a Wider `Net’ Suffolk goes on-line to catch criminals By Olivia Winslow. STAFF WRITER

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers program is going national – on-line, that is. “We’re tickled pink to finally be up on the Internet,” Suffolk Police Commissioner Peter Cosgrove said at a news conference yesterday announcing the development. “We’ll expand our request for information to something like 30 million subscribers,” Cosgrove said. The police commissioner was joined by Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney, other police officials, and the chairman of Crime Stoppers of Suffolk County, Inc., the non-profit foundation that raises money for the cash awards given to tipsters whose information leads to the arrest of suspects. John Bracken, chairman of the Crime Stoppers Inc. board of directors, said the group has given out $10,000 in amounts ranging from $75 to $1,000 since Crime Stoppers was established in the county 1 1/2 years ago. While police officers handle the calls, Bracken said it is the volunteers who raise the money for the awards

“We rely solely on contributions to give these awards.” Police said that as far as they have been able to learn by “surfing the net” themselves, Suffolk County police department is one of only two police departments in New York state to go on-line seeking tips about criminals’ whereabouts. According to Lt. Nicholas Sorrenti, commander of Crime Stoppers bureau, the other is the Oneida Tribal Police Department. Gaffney demonstrated how to tap into the Suffolk Crime Stoppers page, which went on the Internet yesterday and features biographical information on the county’s “10 Most Wanted” list of criminals, a brief synopsis of the crime, as well as suspects’ pictures. Crime Stoppers also will solicit information from Internet subscribers on missing children and death investigations in the county.

(The web site address is “Now, computer users and surfers of the Internet will be able to help us apprehend known criminals,” Gaffney said. “It just increases the number of opportunities to apprehend these individuals.” Like other tipsters, Internet users with information for Suffolk Crime Stoppers should call the toll-free number, 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls are kept confidential, police said. Eventually, though, Sgt. William Okula, of the Suffolk Police Department’s data services unit, said they would like to set up a confidential E-mail system that Internet tipsters could use to maintain anonymity.

Suffolk Crime Stoppers’ leap onto the Internet was aided by Long Island On Net, based in Port Jefferson, which sells computer supplies and equipment and, more recently, Internet Access. The company will cover the cost of putting Crime Stoppers information on the Internet. The exact cost to the company, however, could not yet be calculated, since that will depend on usage, said Howard Ryan, a co-owner of Long Island On Net. “We’re prepared to handle it,” he added.

Copyright 1995, Newsday Inc. Olivia Winslow, Casting a Wider `Net’ Suffolk goes on-line to catch criminals, 10-12-1995, pp A25.

This endeavor provided the Suffolk Police, Suffolk D.A.R.E program, Missing Children Web Site and additional resources totally free of charge to New York State for 5 plus years.Additionally, Howard personally tutored Suffolk County Judges, Suffolk County Detectives, Suffolk County Police Officers one-on-one with computer-internet instruction at Police Headquarters, Yaphank New York.

Hierarchical organizational structure (as would be imported from an LDAP or Active Directory)

  • John Bracken, chairman of the Crime Stoppers Inc. Board
  • Suffolk County Police Commissioner Cosgrove
  • Suffolk County Executive Gaffney
  • Special Services Sergeant William Okula who along with then Commissioner Gaffney made the dream become a reality

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