A number of police departments are encouraging citizens to report non-violent crimes online. In Virginia, the Norfolk Police Department has introduced a new online system that features a virtual police officer to help with the process. The system is available around the clock in both English and Spanish.
“Empowering our residents and community members to report crime is a great asset to enhancing our police services,” said Police Chief Michael Goldsmith. “The solution will play a critical role in assigning our personnel to best protect the needs of the city we serve.”
The system is intended to reduce time and costs associated with reporting so that officers can spend their time on other crime fighting, according to the release. Police said it reduces officer dispatch by up to 30 percent for all reports. You can take a look at Norfolk’s reporting system at this link.
The Troy Police Department in New York is another agency that is making online reporting available for non-violent crimes. The Troy PD has added another helpful feature: A downtown computer terminal with a direct link to police. Eventually kiosks will be installed to make it easier for citizens to make reports.
Tedesco said the system, which costs $5,200 annually, will streamline the workload so that these crimes are still reported and attended to, but officers then potentially have more time to investigate city crime hot spots. You can view the system at www.troypd.org.
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