Back in January, I used this column to talk to you about some of the benefits of visiting the POLICE magazine Website (www.policemag.com).
At the time, we rolled out some new online features such as Web Extra articles and moderated Police Forums. The results have been gratifying.
More and more of our readers are discovering the benefits of visiting policemag.com. The number of officers using our Police Forums to talk about police issues and concerns has doubled in just six months, and we've had some spirited discussions about the assault weapon ban, illegal aliens, false security alarms, and many other hot topics.
Our Website is becoming a bigger and better resource for police officers. And we're working to make it even better. This month, we have two new features to announce.
First, we've added a powerful new resource for any officer who is shopping for police equipment and supplies.
It's called Police Supplier and it's such a great new feature for our Website that it even has its own domain name, www.policesupplier.com. You can also access Police Supplier from a link on the home page of www.policemag.com.
Here's what Police Supplier can do for you. Let's say you've been asked by the captain, the chief, or whoever gives you orders to find new computers for your agency. Police Supplier can help you find all kinds of computer vendors. All you need to do is go to www.policesupplier.com, plug in the keyword "computers," click "search," and Police Supplier will give you a list of active links to the Websites of companies that make and sell computers.
Don't want to type a keyword? We've got that covered, too. Just click on the pull-down menus for "category" and "sub-category" and choose the class of gear that you need.
You can even restrict your search to a specific state or province. Let's say you need a holster and you live and work in Maine. Then you can click on Maine, and your search won't return a list of vendors in Missouri or Montana.
Just like Police's annual Buyer's Guide, which is published each year in the July issue, Police Supplier is an invaluable and comprehensive resource for anyone shopping for police equipment and supplies. But in some ways it's much better.
The biggest problem with print directories is that they're easy to lose. When you want to find a vendor for, let's say patrol rifles, you have to search for the July issue. With our new Police Supplier Website, you never have to worry about misplacing your directory. It's always there. All you need is Web access.
And it's always current. With a print directory that's published once per year, there's no way to update the material. Police Supplier is constantly updated. That means that when you need, for example, a new radar system, you won't be contacting companies that are out of business or no longer sell or make police radar systems.
Finally, you can use Police Supplier for much more than a vendor directory. The database includes information on law enforcement associations and conferences.
With all of its features and resources, www.policesupplier.com is the most powerful and comprehensive online directory of manufacturers, distributors, vendors, associations, and conferences in the law enforcement industry. It's a powerful new resource, and we urge you to make frequent use of it.
In addition to www.policesupplier.com, we've also added some new content to our Website. We call it The Blue Review.
Each month, humorist and former San Diego police officer George Eliseo will take a look at a police or crime film on DVD and review it from the perspective of a police officer.
George will take the bullet and call 'em like he sees 'em. So check out The Blue Review.
These are just some of the things that we are doing to make www.policemag.com a more useful, informative, and entertaining Website for you.
Let us know what you think on our Police Forums at www.policemag.com.