General Crime

* Salinas Police Debut Online Crime Reporting

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The Salinas Police Department has debuted a new online crime reporting system to make it easier for victims to report burglaries, traffic collisions, theft and other non-violent incidents while reducing calls for police services. The new Coplogic system, which replaces the department’s obsolete Internet reporting service, assigns an incident number to each report and allows citizens to print out a copy, making it easier to file insurance claims, police said. “It’s a major improvement from what we had beforehand,” Officer Miguel Cabrera said. “It’s like night and day.” Prior to its official launch Wednesday, Salinas police quietly started using the program almost three months ago and have already logged about 300 reports from citizens without any publicity about it, Cabrera said. The Coplogic system has newer software that makes its simpler for users to prepare a “professional looking” report and then print out a copy at no cost instead of having to pay a fee for one at the police department, he said.

Police will also be able to turn more non-violent reports over to non-sworn personnel who can assign a case number and print out copies for citizens, saving time for sworn officers. “The desire was to create a product that would assist law enforcement agencies in becoming more efficient and make better use of available resources,” Cabrera said. Citizens must use a computer and an email address to log into the system. The online service may be used to report only crimes committed within the city limits of Salinas and only if there are no known suspects. Crimes that may be reported via the system include commercial, residential and vehicular burglaries, harassing phone calls, hit-and-run collisions with no suspect information, missing property, non-injury accidents, thefts and vandalism.

The online system may also be use to file abandoned vehicle reports, barking dog complaints, crime tips, graffiti abatement, general complaints, traffic-related complaints, street light outages and police employee commendations. Cabrera said he not sure how much the new online system cost the city. The Coplogic online citizen crime reporting method has been adopted by 150 law enforcement agencies in North America, police said. The system is currently in English only, but the department is
developing a Spanish language version. To use the system, citizens must go the department’s website at www.salinaspd.com, click on the “Online Services” tab, then the “Crime/Incident Reports” tab, and follow the directions.

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