The Durango Police Department is reminding residents that minor crimes such as graffiti, cold thefts and lost property can be reported online to save time and improve efficiencies within the department.
Residents may file reports for low-priority incidents, including vandalism, lost property, phone scams, abandoned vehicles, trespassing, code enforcement issues and barking dogs. Residents also may request extra patrol for their homes while on vacation via the online portal.
The service, available at www.DurangoGov.org/Police, is available 24/7 on any web-enabled device. It has been operational since at least March, but Cmdr. Ray Shupe said it hasn’t been widely used by residents.
“It’s a really good program,” he said. “It’s certainly there to save our citizens some time, and it’s just another way for people to report to us.”
Users of the online service will be asked questions to identify the nature of the situation and then be directed whether the incident can be reported online or if an officer must take the call. People filing online will be given an incident number and can receive copies of their report.
Some people question whether it is worth calling police about a crime, maybe because they don’t want to take an officer’s time for something minor, they figure someone else already reported it or because it seems too minor. But Shupe said the online reporting system allows officers to address low-level or “cold” incidents at their convenience. And it helps the department track trends.
“Sometimes, we’re able to tie a lot of different crimes together just based on someone’s suspicious report of something that happened,” he said. “We want to make sure people have an avenue to do those reports without tying up an officer if they don’t feel like it.”
The online option does not replace dispatch in an emergency situation, in which people can call 911 or dispatch at 385-2900 to report a crime in progress or where life or property may be at risk.
The online reporting system generates more accurate reports and reduces officer response times by 10% to 30%, according to a news release from the Durango Police Department. It also reduces administrative costs and improves allocation of resources.