Peoria Police Implement New Citizen Reporting System

By Andrew Romanov
Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 3:34pm
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:59pm
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A screenshot of the Peoria Police reporting website where residents can report minor crimes online.

Police reports are usually filed over the phone or in person, but that is not always a convenient or efficient means to do so. Now, the Peoria Police Department is making changes to the way citizens report crimes.

The Peoria Police Department has updated its website to include a new online reporting function. Citizens can report minor crimes there instead of calling police and having to wait for an officer to arrive in-person.

In a prepared statement, Public Information Officer Amanda Jacinto said Peoria has partnered with Coplogic, a company that specializes in online reporting, to introduce this new way for citizens to communicate with police.

Using the new system, Peoria residents can report lower level crimes such as minor theft, shoplifting and graffiti, crimes in which there are no suspects, leads or direct witnesses, said Lt. Douglas Steele. When the report is submitted, police officers and police service officers will review them and have the option to send a message back and request further information or simply notify the citizen that the report has been received, said Steele.

Although reports will usually be reviewed by police aids, Steele said sworn officers will still be made aware of trends.

“Our interest is, and we truly believe that if I can make reporting crime easier for the public, that more crimes will be reported,” said Steele. “Therefore, we have a better understanding of what our crime issues are and we can respond better to those issues.”

Steele said police will continue responding to phone calls, but that the new system should make it more convenient for Peoria residents to file police reports.

“Let’s say for example that someone through a rock through a window. That’s a low priority call and if law enforcement is busy, it could take several hours before an officer is available to come out,” said Steele. “So now, you can have that completed and a police report filed in a short time frame as opposed to waiting three or four hours for an officer to respond.”

Steele said that when Peoria Police updated their entire internal system last year, they made note of the way citizens report crimes online. He said the old system was difficult to navigate and was npt very user-friendly and that the new one is much more accessible.

“Pretty much anybody, even with a limited amount of computer knowledge, can get on there relatively quickly, and in fifteen to twenty minutes do a very simple report online,” said Steele.

According to Steele, systems like these are common for law enforcement agencies. The Phoenix Police Department uses the exact same Coplogic product.

“Probably almost all valley agencies have some form of online reporting,” said Steele.

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