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Eagleton Institute of Politics - 60th Anniversary
Eagleton Institute of Politics


E-Gov: Best Practices

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement has been among the most controversial areas of state Web publishing, primarily resulting from the online posting of sex offender information. Some states also have published criminal records online, sometimes with security features limiting them to employers or attaching fees for searches. Several states now publish crime statistics online, often derived from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual state-by-state survey. A few states have used their Webs to highlight unsolved crimes or to publish online "wanted posters" of criminal suspects.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement
May be the most interesting of all state law enforcement sites with its tabloid design featuring headlines of recent crimes and arrests and its emphasis on encouraging citizens to both prevent and solve crimes.  The site's Florida's Most Wanted provides photos of the top targets for apprehension; the Unsolved Homicides page displays photos of murder victims; the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse  page offers photos and other information; and the Crime Briefs page gives helpful tips on how to avoid becoming a crime victim. Florida also appears to be the only state allowing online criminal record searches.

Delaware Department of Public Safety
Offers a 911 scanner, where surfers may Listen in real time to police scanner in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

State of Washington WATCH-Washington Access to Criminal History
For a $10 per search fee, the State of Washington allows anyone to search records of criminal convictions if the searcher provides the correct name and birth date.

San Francisco payment service for parking  tickets
San Francisco unveiled new Web-based payment service for parking  tickets in January 2002 on its CityServices, the City and County of San Francisco's e-government portal. The service allows payment by a major credit card via the Internet, with a $2.75 transaction fee added  to "cover the cost of electronic processing." CityServices' other e-government services include online property tax payments, building inspection permits, and birth and death certificate requests.

New Jersey-NJMC (New Jersey Municipal Courts) Direct
New Jerseyans with municipal parking and other traffic tickets are able to pay their fines online with credit cards through the NJMC Direct (New Jersey Municipal Courts Direct) service launched in July 2002, with all 536 municipal courts having the option of participate in the program adminsitered by the New Jersey Judiciary. Tickets for illegal parking and certain moving violations will now include a Web address where motorists can check the amount of their fine and pay online by major credit card.