SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah Police Department (SPD) says officers need more time to prevent crime and engage with the community. And the department has a 21st-century solution.
SPD says when there is no evidence, when there is no emergency and when there are no known suspects, they should not send an officer to the scene. And now, thanks to a new online reporting system, you can help ensure that.
“We want to make sure we put our officers out there doing proactive work,” said Savannah Police Major Robert Gavin. “We want to make sure they’re there to respond to violent crimes.”
SPD’s website now features a working ‘online police report’ tab where you can fill out information about certain crimes. There are several questions and a section to add pictures.
When a report is filed online, it is sent to a team that includes Monique Maines, who is SPD’s information management division supervisor.
“We can help them just as much as someone going out in person and doing the same thing,” said Maines.
Only certain crimes can be reported online. Most of the time, it is useful to report a crime online when you need a report for insurance purposes or if there is no need for a police officer to investigate.
Maines says officers dedicate 25 percent of their time to responding to these types of incidents.
SPD says the following incidents can be reported online if they happened within the Savannah city limits:
- Identity Fraud (use of individual or business information to commit a financial crime)
- Criminal Trespass (vandalism or damage to property $500 or less)
- Criminal Damage to Property in the Second Degree (vandalism or damage to property greater than $500 with no danger to human life or involving a utility like water, gas, or power)
- Lost or Mislaid Property
- Traffic Complaints
If the crime happened outside of Savannah, call (912) 652-6500.
“The more information you have, the better,” said Maines. If you do not fill out enough information, Maines says she or another representative will call or email you to get more details.
Maj. Gavin says the system’s best quality is its convenience. It is available anywhere and anytime.
“I’m excited for the department. I’m excited for the community. It’s one of those things that makes it a little bit easier and it also gives us the opportunity to do some more community policing,” said Maj. Gavin.
Maines says online reports are not official reports. You still need to request those from SPD records.
If you do not feel comfortable filing a report online, you can still call SPD’s customer service desk.
If the crime does not fit the criteria for an online report, call 911 or SPD’s non-emergency number at (912) 652-6500