The City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a motion instructing the Los Angeles Police Department to develop a system to facilitate online filing of police reports.
Councilmember Mitch Englander introduced the motion in February of 2013 to further modernize the Department’s website, LAPDonline.org by enabling the Los Angeles Police Department and the public to file police reports online. Currently the Department’s website offers a great deal of important information such as crime mapping and submitting anonymous tips, but it does not provide a way to file a police report electronically. One of the largest administrative tasks for the Police Department, as well as the public, is the filing of police reports.
Technology is a vital tool that helps provide taxpayers with better customer service and gain productivity within City Departments. “Los Angeles must continue to be on the cutting edge of new technologies,” Councilmember Englander said. “I am very pleased that the City Council approved this motion which will not only increase efficiency, but will make our streets safer.”
While the system will be new to the LAPD, it is already being utilized locally. The campus police at California State University Northridge (CSUN) have an online report filing program in operation. The electronic filing system allows police reports to be submitted immediately and makes a digital copy available for printing at no charge. The reports can then also be shared with an insurance company if necessary.
The system will be available for use only on lower level crimes. More serious incidents like violent crimes, sexual assaults, hate crimes, and missing persons will continue to be filed over the phone or in person.
Adding electronic filing of police reports to LAPDonline.org will further enhance the Department’s ability to serve the public and provide an opportunity to automate a time consuming portion of the administrative process.
“As a City Councilmember, I believe we have no greater responsibility than the public’s safety,” Englander said. “This motion will allow our police officers to spend less time filling out paperwork and more time protecting our citizens.”