The Seattle Police Department will conduct an immediate review of how it responds to property crime, says Chief Kathleen O'Toole, the Seattle Times reports. O'Toole said she has heard community concerns regarding how the department responds to property crime, including the amount of time 911 callers wait for a police response and determining what crimes are eligible for online reporting, according to the Police Department. A column by Danny Westneat in the Times was a catalyst for the review decision, said police spokesman Drew Fowler.
Westneat wrote that after his wife's purse was stolen from their car, police told him to file a police report online. His kids tracked down the thieves' location using a GPS locator on his stolen phone, but a 911 dispatcher still told Westneat to file an insurance claim online. “What I learned last weekend: If your car gets broken into, there's probably no point in calling the police because they won't do anything,” Westneat wrote. Another police spokesman, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, said Westneat's column was typical of the concerns that have been raised from community members, who say they are worried about the rise in crime and feel that the services they receive after they report the crimes could be better.