Portland, Or., wants to expand the list of crimes that can be reported over the phone in order to give patrol officers more time to solve neighborhood problems, reports The Oregonian. A pending proposal would have callers report a stolen car, a garage break-in, or a car prowl by phone if there is no suspect information or evidence to collect. Crime victims would be given the option of having an officer respond. At some point, police hopes to allow citizens to report these crimes online.
Police Chief Derrick Foxworth and Assistant Chief Stan Grubbs said the changes are designed to reduce the time patrol officers spend rushing from call to call. They said the bureau has slipped from its goal of allowing officers to spend 35 percent of their time solving neighborhood problems. Southeast Precinct Sgt. Kim Keist said she feared the change might curtail officers’ ability to solve crimes by not having immediate information about all property crimes occurring in their districts. A community survey in 2005 showed that people have been less likely to report property crimes in Portland within the past two years.