The Anchorage Police Department now allows victims to register their complaints for petty crimes online, saving time for both the police crime victims, reports the city’s Daily News. Victims of theft, fraud, vandalism, lost property, identity theft, harassing phone calls and thefts from vehicles can now go to the department’s Web site to file their case with the police. Police said people with emergencies should still call 911 and crimes where there are known suspects should not be referred to the online system.
The department hopes to reduce some of the 15,000 crime reports a year it takes by phone. Each phone call takes 20 to 30 minutes for a police clerk to file. That time can now be used for the other duties clerks have, such as ticket processing, said Officer Brian Burton, who directs the new Internet system. For victims, the new system will alleviate the often long phone waits. The computer system, which cost $15,000, was developed by Randy Burkhammer, a former California police officer and co-founder of ePolice Department Inc. Burkhammer said the year-old system is being used in San Francisco, Stockton and Union City, Calif.