Losing a wallet is not a pleasant experience, and having to call 911 and wait on an officer to respond can make the situation drawn out even more.
It’s incidents like this that the Rome Police Department hopes its new online crime reporting system will be used for — to help streamline the process of getting police reports filed in nonemergency events.
“It’s primarily for reports that don’t necessarily have to require police involvement. A lot of times that can be a lost car tag, a lost wallet or a lost driver’s license,” Assistant Police Chief Debbie Burnett said.
“A lot of times, to get those items replaced free of charge they require an incident report. Instead of calling 911 and having officer contact, people are able to fill out this form themselves and submit it.”
The system, which has been active for a week, can be used to report small property crimes within the city limits. Those are losses valued at less than $1,500 in the case of theft or less than $500 in the case of property damage.
It’s also not intended for anyone to use in the case of an emergency, where a person is injured or if an officer will need to collect physical evidence.
“Honestly, we’re interested to see how it’s going to work,” Burnett said. “We’re not seeing a huge public response, but it’s new and people may not realize they have that option.”
Burnett said the reports get sent to the department’s criminal investigation division, with supervisors reviewing each one during normal business hours as they come in.
Anyone who submits a report gets confirmation by email. They then are contacted when it is reviewed and advised if it has been approved or denied. If approved and processed, instructions are given as to how to obtain an official police report.
Supervisors can also contact a person if more information is needed.
“I think when people realize the system is there, we’ll see if it’s going to be productive or not,” Burnett said. “We thought it would be another tool — especially right now — that the community can use.
“We’re as interested as anybody to see if it’s going to work.”