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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220101 Find in a Library
Title: Citizens Reporting Crimes Online: The San Francisco Experience
Journal: The Police Chief  Volume:74  Issue:8  Dated:August 2007  Pages:124,126-128,131
Author(s): William Gitmed
Date Published: August 2007
Page Count: 5
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the design and implementation of the San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD’s) online reporting system.
Abstract: The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) experience with online police reporting has exceeded all of its original expectations. With the advent of online reporting, citizens can now report crimes online. The benefits of online reporting can be seen from the perspective of both the law enforcement agency providing the service and from citizens using the service. Although the SFPD was initially skeptical of how many citizens would make use of such a service, the department was pleased when 11 percent of all reports taken within the first month of operation were submitted online. In reporting a crime online, a citizen finds a link on an agency Web page and submits responses to queries about the incident on the page. Currently, the SFPD allows citizens to file online police reports for lost property, theft, vandalism and graffiti, vehicle tampering, vehicle burglary, and harassing phone calls. Once an online report has been submitted, it is then sent to a reviewer’s box. From there, it is reviewed, approved, rejected, modified, or a follow-up is conducted. Approved reports are then exported out of the online reporting system and routed into the report management system (RMS). When choosing an online reporting system, several questions should be asked to find the best fit for an agency’s needs. Questions may include: does the vendor offer to host the application, does the system come with multilingual support, how user-friendly is the administrative portion of the program, and how dynamic is the system with regard to making incident-specific changes?
Main Term(s): Citizen crime reporting
Index Term(s): California; Information Systems and Technology; Police effectiveness; Police information systems; Police records; Police reports; Police-citizen interactions; Policing innovation
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