Lowndes County offices streamline services using modern technology

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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The Lowndes County Commission and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office have announced the rollout of new and improved advancements designed to help them better serve the county’s residents.

In September, the commission went live with a new website — Lowndes-al.gov. The new site was designed to function more like other government sites than the previous version had.

“The old website didn’t have much information the community could access, like different departments, phone numbers, and email addresses,” described clerk Kelsie Garrett. “We wanted to make a more modern site where people can access forms like employment applications and find phone numbers and email addresses for different departments.”

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The new site features COVID-19 information as well as a commissioner’s page with contacts and a calendar of upcoming board meetings.

“We have a community tab, which gives different information about the churches, schools, and post offices in the county,” Garrett said. “We have a forms tab where people can see the Lowndes County Commission employment form that they can print and fill out instead of coming all the way to the office.”

According to Garrett, the new site is user-friendly and designed to put necessary information at citizen’s fingertips.

“I did my research, and some websites are very difficult to use,” Garrett said. “We were trying to make this one easy to access and understand.”

In November, the sheriff’s office launched a new customized smartphone application. The app serves as an innovative way for the department to connect with residents and visitors and provides information quickly and efficiently to anyone with a smartphone.

Sheriff Chris West said the app was part of a modernization plan intended to bring Lowndes County into the 21st century by offering transparency of government.

“This app is part of our transparency,” West explained. “If a citizen has a negative encounter with an officer, they can send me the information through the app. Then, we can sit down together so I can get a full understanding of the situation.”

Users of the app can access features like the office’s staff directory, agency services, a most wanted list, notice of sex offenders, inmate and jail information, pistol permit applications, and other resources.

Developers are continuing to add functions, West noted.

“For instance, if your brother is in jail, you will be able to go through the app and add money to their commissary account,” said West. There are just a few things we are continuing to work on.

The app was developed by TheSheriffApp.com, a division of OCV, LLC. Citizens may download the app free in the App Store and Google Play by searching “Lowndes County Sheriff AL” or by visiting apps.myocv.com/share/a67136040.