MLPD introduces web-based crime reporting

mlpd_-_cars.jpg** PRESS RELEASE ** PRESS RELEASE ** PRESS RELEASE **

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department is proud to announce it will be providing a new online police reporting option for the public.  This web based reporting system will allow the public to file certain incident types (minor theft, vehicle burglary, lost property, hit & run, etc.) over the internet at their convenience.  The Mammoth Lakes Police Department expects this internet based reporting service to be very popular among citizens who have come to expect police services to be provided immediately and conveniently online.

The service will allow the public to file a report at a time that is best for them without having to wait for an officer to respond or call them back.  The public will be able to print a temporary copy of the report upon submitting the report.  The report will be reviewed by police personnel and once approved the filing person will receive an email with a copy of the report attached without cost.  The report will transfer into the Mammoth Lakes Police Departments records management system and receive the same investigation and statistical analysis ability as if the report had been filed by a police officer.

This web based reporting option will allow officers more time to address community needs while keeping pace with the public expectancy to complete services via the internet.

The web based crime reporting service is available at  HYPERLINK “http://www.MammothLakesPD.org” www.MammothLakesPD.org 

 

 

 

 

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26 Responses to MLPD introduces web-based crime reporting

  1. Trouble October 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    What’s next? Can I tweet God instead of going to church?

     
    • Sean October 11, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      You have been able to tweet God for a long time now:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/god

       
    • bishop dude November 20, 2013 at 12:48 am #

      obviously you need to go to church. to bad for you

       
  2. Pop October 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Hit and run not immediate public concern?

     
  3. Dan Watson October 13, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    That’s a good question, Pop. The news release should have made it clear that the on-line reporting system should only be used for a hit and run collision when the suspect’s vehicle is not seen, such as returning to your vehicle parked in a lot and observing that it’s been hit. Anyone who witnesses a hit and run collision should contact the police immediately and provide a vehicle description and direction of travel.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

     
    • Trouble October 14, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      I liked it better in the old days, when people thought twice about ratting out their neighbors and the police didn’t act like robots.

       
  4. Pop October 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Thanks Dan,
    Would hate to think you didn’t have enough staff to respond to crimes in progress. Here’s to hoping we don’t need you much, but you can always be there when we do.

     
  5. Wayne Deja October 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Maybe I’m being paranoid about it,but it seems this could be a slippery slope to be taking when reporting a crime or incident…or maybe finding out a few days later….or longer….that you might be getting accused of one.

     
    • Pedro October 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      W.D.,
      Thanks for pointing that out. “…at their convenience.” and, “…at a time that is best for them….” Is a little scary. I always thought that an officer taking a report and asking questions was a part of the investigation.

      Ya know, my neighbor still has the kayak he borrowed last week, and I found out today my wife is sleeping with him….

       
    • Dan Watson October 14, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Wayne – this has become a common practice with police departments throughout the country as they deal with dwindling resources and take advantage of technology. We decided to provide on-line crime reporting when looking at ways to improve efficiency through technology as a result of staffing cuts. I’m not aware of the problem you and Pedro are concerned about occurring anywhere.

       
      • Tourbillon October 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        I think the concern is that an online reporting system, while a good idea in principle from an efficiency standpoint, is inherently more susceptible to false report abuse than is a direct one-on-one conversation with the police. Much more temerity is required to falsely report a crime in a conversation with the police than doing so asynchronously using an online form accessed through, say, a seemingly anonymous Internet cafe.

        The online form I saw at the MLPD site (assuming I was looking at the right form) could be spoofed pretty easily I think, particularly by someone more computer literate than me. So I think the public needs to know what procedures are in place to confirm the reporter’s identity prior to taking any action against the suspect. Unless I’m missing something, a malcontent could be tempted, however stupidly given modern computer forensics, to use a near-anonymous email address and false name on the form to lodge a false report that could result in an innocent person being embarrassed at work or at home and only then precipitating a confirmation of the identity of the reporter.

        You might think that’s a bit too much anxiety but after all, we’re living in an era of rampant NSA domestic surveillance after prior serial denials, an era when a top government official openly admits he lied to Congress but rationalizes it by explaining that he told the “least untruthful” lie he could. So gotta ask – what, if any, protections does MLPD afford against false online reporting, over and above what it does for direct reports?

         
  6. Wayne Deja October 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Chief Watson…..kinda like the “statute of limitations” rules that come into play in bigger charges and cases…..witnesses that maybe left the area that wouldn’t be around anymore to help with an alibi….someone holding a grudge against a spouse or a friend….vehicles sold or maybe lent out that people might not remember when it might have been or to who….and maybe above all,false reports to where you might be getting a knock on your door about something you know nothing about from Law Enforcement and having to defend yourself from a false or frivolous arrest.and seems if it did end up in a court of law,something a good defense lawyer would have a field day with anyway.. or,the other way with it,maybe where when someone SHOULD report a crime they could fall back on it and say they were going to report it,but just haven’t had the time to do it yet,while the criminal would be long gone and getting away with whatever he might have done.Just seems to me if someone is reporting a crime it should be done promptly and not at their convenience…

     
  7. Wayne Deja October 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Cheif Watson……Should have pointed this out in my previous post,as an example….Back in the early 80’s,when I was living in Lancaster,I received a letter in the mail to appear in a San Diego court,a civil trial….as a defendant….with someone claiming I had struck their vehicle in a parking lot,and was being sued for damages….they even had my correct vehicle license number,make and model….problem was,I’d never even been to San Diego in my life…..A letter explaining that wasn’t good enough…Their lawyer stated ” If it wasn’t you,are you sure you didn’t loan your car out to someone that day ?”….nope….never did loan out my vehicle…..to anyone.It took numerous phone calls to state my point,and even then,figured I was going to lose the case by not appearing…and then what ?….Luckily,that didn’t happen…civil case,bad enough….if it were a criminal case,would have been a lot worse with a lot of nail-biting.

     
    • Dan Watson October 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Wayne’s post shows that with or without an on-line system, mistakes or false reports can be made. It’s a crime to file a false police report. People have done it in the past and will continue to do so, on-line reporting system or not. Every report filed on-line will be reviewed by a supervisor, just like a report taken at the desk or in the field. Any follow-up by a detective will occur. But remember, this is only available for limited types of crimes and only when certain information is not available.

      I assume that Wayne and Tourbillon would like to see this program abolished and all crimes investigated in person by a police officer. This is sort of like property-damage-only traffic collisions. There is no legal obligation for the police to take a report. Many departments will not take them. We do if a party to the collision wants one and we have the ability to do so. It’s done as a courtesy. In a perfect world we would respond to every traffic collision and take a report, although not required. In that same perfect world, an officer would respond to every crime scene, or to every person who calls eliminating the need for them to come to the police station to report a crime. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and decisions have to be made how to best use resources. On-line reporting is a convenience for people who need a report for insurance purposes. If someone is going to lie about a crime, it can happen in person or on-line.

       
      • Tourbillon October 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

        Your assumption that I’d like to see the program “abolished” can be made only if you failed to carefully read what I wrote. It is a peculiar lexicon that transforms reference to a system as “efficient” into a demand to abolish that system.

        I asked whether there are any protections afforded by MLPD against false online reporting, over and above what it does for direct reports, a simple yes/no question to which you returned a discourse on police obligations. I suppose one of the additional things police also are not obligated to do is to give direct responses to yes/no questions, so I will supply the answer myself. No, MLPD affords no greater protections for online reporting than what it affords for in person reporting, because MLPD disagrees that lying online is easier than lying in person.

         
        • Benett Kessler October 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

          I haven’t noticed you answering with one word replies.
          Benett

           
          • Tourbillon October 18, 2013 at 7:01 am #

            No?

             
          • Benett Kessler October 18, 2013 at 9:06 am #

            Touche’

            BK

             
        • Dan Watson October 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

          Since you are not the only person who reads these posts, Tourbillon, a one word answer to your three paragraph comment would be insufficient for others. Your comment warranted further explanation for the benefit of readers. And, you should go back and read your question at the end of your post. A simple yes or no would not answer the question. I agree with your October 15 answer to the question you asked the day before.

           
  8. Trouble October 15, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    So are the police going to answer to people named Trouble?

     
  9. Frank October 15, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Chief Watson;

    I think online crime reports are a great idea.

    Just posting as a counterpoint to the negative posts from the usual suspects…

     
  10. Amen October 18, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    To Dan Watson,

    I just wanted to say that I appreciate that you answer these Blogs when there are discussions that have to do with your department. It shows that you care what the public thinks about your department and officers, that is very refreshing and I believe that is a great example of what a proper department leader should be like. I like that you make every effort to be up front, honest, and transparent about your department. I believe you have a great sense of community. I certainly wish that the current Mono County Sheriff was as honorable, transparent, and upstanding as you are.

    I know you like being chief of MLPD, but I hope you will consider running for sheriff in 2014. For the greater good of Mono County!

     
    • Dan Watson October 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks for the endorsement, but I’m perfectly happy remaining as the police chief in Mammoth Lakes.

       
      • Trouble October 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

        Chief Watson, I think it’s great you respond †o many issues here and hope you continue to. But I would like to know if you will respond to messages from people named trouble. P. S. I wish cell phones were outlawed!

         
  11. Amen October 19, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    To Dan Watson,

    I had a feeling you were pretty happy where you were, but can’t hurt to hope!

    Do you think you could recruit us someone with your values and ethics? It is a rarity in the current MCSO administration and I an stressing what four more years of the same could bring Mono County!

    You must have a lot of contacts, please consider helping this county out. We need it desperately! Thanks 🙂

     

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