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Salt Lake police launch online crime reporting system



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Police Department takes crimes like burglary, vandalism and ID theft seriously, but they don't necessarily need an emergency response. A new website created by Salt Lake City police provides a new way for citizens to report these types.

"[It] allows you to report a crime without a police officer," Salt Lake City police Detective Dennis McGowan said.

Once a person has clicked on the crime he or she is reporting, they just need to follow the prompts.

"You can do it 24/7. It's user-friendly; a novice computer operator can do this," McGowan said.

To see how easy it really is, KSL News asked a regular guy off the street to use it. Matt Basham was not a victim of car burglary, but we asked him to pretend he was. "It seems user-friendly," Basham said.

Within minutes he had all the information filled out and sent on its way. Basham said if he ever does become a victim of one of these crimes, he'll use the site.

"There's no reason for an officer to have to take info if I can type it in myself online," he said. "I'd rather have them out on the streets fighting crime."

When a person reports a crime online, he or she will get a case number immediately. And if they have an e-mail account, the person will get an e-mail of the police report within hours.

"It saves thousands of dollars in police time and money," McGowan said.

Even though the site will work for thousands of victims, it won't work for everyone.

"It's no substitute for a police officer. If any victim wants a police officer, we will respond to that request," McGowan said.

The site is also in Spanish. A link to the online reporting system can be found on the police department's website.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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