Boise, May 17, 2006 – Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson today unveiled the new Online Reporting system, a system that allows citizens to file police reports directly into the police department’s own report system.
BPD becomes one of only 20 departments nationwide, and the first in Idaho using the software that allows citizens to file directly into police records.
Benefits to Citizens: Citizens will get an e-mailed attached copy of the report immediately after filing, including an assigned report number. This will be a great convenience to citizens who can file the report at their convenience and instantly have a copy of the report for insurance purposes.
Benefits for Police: For police, the benefits include an expected savings of time and money. A good number of the reports now taken by officers in the field include property losses through theft or burglary, or reports on abandoned vehicles, graffiti or vandalism.
For example, in 2005, Boise Police responded to more than 4,000 reports of vandalism. It’s estimated as many as 60% of those could have been filed online. If the crime is not in progress or an emergency, if it occurred within the Boise City limits, and if there is no known suspect information, the citizen can now file the report online,
saving the officers travel and reporting writing time, saving police staff the time of retyping a report, and saving the citizen from calling and giving a report over the telephone.
The citizen reports are filed directly with the appropriate division for any needed follow up, also saving department personnel routing and sorting time.
Crime statistics may also become more accurate and valuable as more citizens may report incidents of crime.
How to Access: Citizens can simply log onto www.boisepolice.org and look for the Online Reporting icon on the main page.
What can be Reported: If it is not a crime in progress, not an emergency, occurred in Boise City limits, and there is no known suspect information, the following reports can be filed by citizens online:
Abandoned Vehicles, Graffiti, Harassing Phone Calls, Lost Property, Theft, Traffic Concerns, Vandalism, Vehicle Break-Ins.
Online Traffic Concerns: In March, 2006, BPD launched the online reporting of traffic concerns. To date, 68 traffic concerns have been filed by citizens, with the reports going directly to the Patrol division for follow up. Other departments using online traffic reporting estimate a savings of $2,000 per month in officer response time.
Cost to the Department: The software, developed by a police officer from California, cost the department $15,000. The department will spend $3,000 annually for yearly maintenance.
System Security: Because the system contains police information, it uses security similar to banking and e-mail servers. The reports are filed directly with the police department, and once they are approved by a Boise Police supervisor, are permanently entered in the BPD record system. The software company’s server operates with three back ups so there is very little risk of losing files.
How Does this Replace Former Online Systems? BPD and many other departments nationwide have developed forms online for citizens to fill out. Those forms were then e-mailed to the department, where the information was re-typed into a police report and assigned. This new system creates an actual police report that is electronically sent to the appropriate division within the police department for follow up and filing, eliminating the need for re-typing by police department staff and providing the citizen with an almost instant copy of the report.
Filing of False Reports: Filing a false police report is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $300 and/or one year in jail. A false report notice is posted prominently on the Online Reporting main page. If a report is deemed to be false, it will be assigned to an officer for follow up investigation.