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Officer’s hobby

leads to TPD website

By MICHELLE WILSON

Staff Writer

Published Oct. 17, 1999

Like many students and computer hobbyists, Lt. Vance Ventress of the Troy Police Department has his own web page.

But when he started his personal home page a couple of months ago, he didn’t think much about turning his interest into work.

Now Ventress has created a website for the Troy Police Department – www.troypd.com.

Ventress, who is the TPD day shift supervisor, is a self-described "computer geek." He said he bought his first computer, which was a Tandy Model 3, in the 1970s, and the machines have been a hobby ever since.

Several months ago, he created a personal webpage which is "law enforcement related."

"I have always been interested in computers and I wanted a home page of my own," he said.

Then Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage asked him about creating an official website for the Troy Police Department.

"It is an interesting and informative page made to address issues in Troy Alabama," he said.

The website has a local events page, which includes the court calendar, parades and football games. It also has links to national organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and information on the dangers of drug abuse.

"Maybe parents are more willing to get the information anonymously," Ventress said. "They may be uncomfortable calling and asking the police."

The website may sound high-tech, but the price is more down to earth. Having the domain cost the department $70 for two years, and they pay a monthly internet access fee to P-C-Net.

"We applied for a domain name and were assured it would be our name for two years," he said.

Ventress said he used a program called Homesite to create the department’s webpage. He downloaded the shareware program from the internet, so it was free.

"I am surprised at how inexpensive it was," he said.

Ventress likes computers so much that he did a lot of the work constructing the webpage from home, he said. He updates the page from his office.

He encourages computer users to bookmark the site and check it regularly for updates.