Claire Timko and Anthony Martini

Former interns Claire Timko, right, and Anthony Martini created a touch screen real-time Web site for the Nassau County Police Department. (Photo by Richard Slattery / June 10, 2009)

When Nassau police Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder was looking for a way to make daily intelligence bulletins and safety reports more accessible to cops on the beat, he found a solution sitting right in front of him: two computer-savvy college interns assigned to his office.

"We had all this information, but we couldn't get it out as real-time intel to the cops - the main consumer of the product," said Ryder, who wanted to build a Web site for continuously updated crime information. "Our IT department told me they were so backlogged it would take them nine or 10 months to do it."

Enter criminal justice interns Claire Timko, who knew something about database management, and Anthony Martini, who had experience with Web design.

In about a month the two interns designed a Web site that has quickly morphed into a wide-ranging and widely used information network, with everything from outstanding warrants to the latest updates on gang activity. New safety alerts, for example, scroll along the bottom or the right side of the screen.

"It all came together pretty smoothly once we got started," said Martini, 23, of Oceanside, who graduated with a master's in criminal justice from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in May. He now works as a public safety officer in Hempstead.

Since May large touch screens have been installed in every precinct, in the 10 village police departments, the district attorney's office and sheriff's office, and the Web site is available on county desktop computers.

The Web site is also available through laptops installed in police cruisers. So far, cruisers in the First and Eighth precincts have been equipped with the laptops. The project, which has cost about $130,000, was paid for with grants and asset-forfeiture funds, Ryder said.

"It's like we have our own news station," he said, "pumping out continuous information bulletins for the cops." Ryder said that, so far, about 40 warrant arrests have been made based on information from the Web site.

Besides that, the project helped Timko, 22, of North Bellmore, score a paying part-time gig at the department updating the Web site. After earning her bachelor's degree from SUNY Canton, she is now studying for a master's degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

"It's a good feeling seeing those touch screens hanging on the wall," Timko said. "I like knowing that I've done something that's really helping people."

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