SAVANNAH, GA (November 10, 2014): A customer service initiative by two Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officers to help participants of last weekend’s Rock n’ Roll Marathon … and those trying to avoid it …, yielded results that surprised even them.
The special section of the department website received more than 27,000 page views on Saturday and Sunday from participants and non-participants alike.
Sgt. Eddie Grant and Advanced Police Officer Jason Pagliaro, who rebuilt the website SCMPD.org earlier this year, added the Rock n’ Roll segment over the past two weeks to help prepare for the races and routes snaking 26 miles through the city and back.
The website worked closely with the Competitor Group that produced the race to help advise participants on how to register, where to pick up race packets, where (and where not) to park, and times to keep in mind.
It also provided non-participants with easy access to the route, times to expect parking to be banned, roads to be closed and re-opened and up-to-the-minute information on the status of the closures. The critical component was the interactive map that showed the routes with intersections that were blocked and reopened, refreshed every minute.
The website drew 12,000 page views on Friday and more than 15,000 on race day Saturday.
“We knew thousands of people had come to Savannah for the race and all the activities around it and they could benefit from information such as this,” said Sgt. Grant. “And we had residents conducting their daily lives who were trying to avoid the traffic confusion an event like this will bring.”
Grant and Pagliaro assigned themselves to the race command center where they could monitor radio communications and video cameras. They continuously updated the site with information when the race had begun, when runners reached milestones or finished the half-marathon or marathon.
“It was more work than we anticipated,” said Pagliaro, “but we think it was well worth it and we look forward to adding information on next year’s event.”