Vancouver Police Department eliminates online reporting

Press Release Date:
Friday, May 12, 2017

Vancouver, Wash. –On May 12, 2017, the Vancouver Police Department eliminated the online reporting system. The initial goal of this system was to allow citizens to report lower priority crimes using a convenient online format while minimizing impacts to department personnel. Online reports were entered into the same electronic report system as police reports generated by Vancouver Police Department personnel and were reviewed by staff prior to final approval.  After assessment of the online reporting system, which was in place nearly seven months, the end result was a significant increase in workload for department staff responsible for reviewing and approving the online reports. Common issues included mis-categorization of crimes by the reporting party, which required revision by department personnel; missing narrative information that required follow up; and crimes that should not be reported using the online system being entered, which required follow up by department personnel.

In an effort to more effectively and efficiently utilize personnel, increase customer service, and provide more access to police services, the department recently hired additional Police Service Technicians (PST’s). These new PST’s are assigned to the patrol division and are available to respond in-person to lower priority crimes seven days a week.  They also work later evening hours to provide increased after-hour access to citizens. Police Service Technicians, both those working in patrol and those that take telephone reports at the precincts, are available to take the same crime reports that the online system was designed to accept:

•         Graffiti or Tagging (damage less than $750.00)

•         Harassing Phone Call

•         Identity Theft or Fraud

•         Lost Property

•         Malicious Mischief (damage less than $750.00)

•         Theft (amount of theft less than $750.00)

•         Vehicle Prowl

•         Vehicle Prowl – Motor Home

To report a lower priority crime from the list above, or a crime without suspect information, citizens can call 3-1-1. For emergencies, crimes with suspect information, or any time the presence of a police officer is needed citizens should call 9-1-1.  As always, citizens may make telephone reports by calling the Vancouver Police Department at (360) 487-7500, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm (excluding holidays). 

The Vancouver Police Department is committed to providing increased access to police services, while also maintaining accurate and timely crime statistics. With the addition of the patrol Police Service Technicians to the existing cadre of precinct Police Service Technicians, we believe we can offer citizens increased options to report crime, allow for more efficient and effective use of our personnel and maintain the integrity of crime analysis.  

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