Starting this month, citizens of Puyallup can create online reports for theft, vandalism and vehicle prowls.
Previously, only lost property reports could be made online.
The effort to expand online reporting was meant to help residents, said Puyallup public information officer captain Ryan Portmann.
“It was really more for the flexibility of the community,” he said. “Sometimes people don't have time to wait around (for an officer response) before they have to go to work.”
Through online reporting, citizens can work around their schedule.
“Under the new system a citizen has the option to file an online report or have an officer respond to their location to take the report in a more traditional manner,” the Puyallup Police Department wrote on its Facebook page. “Please note that online reports will be accepted for crimes where the value of lost, stolen or damaged property does not exceed $1,500.”
For lost, stolen or damaged property exceeding $1,500, call the Puyallup Police Department at 844-821-8911 to file a report directly. The department also encourages citizens to file a report directly if there is suspect information.
“If there’s suspect information we’d like to actually speak to the reportees,” Portmann said.
Other jurisdictions, including Tacoma, Lakewood, Edgewood and Sumner, already use the online reporting system for thefts and vehicle prowls. Puyallup decided to come on board, even though the department was hesitant at first.
“We thought at first it might be a reduction of service,” Portmann said, but added that in the end, it’s giving more options to citizens. “Vehicle prowls are one of our top crimes that we have.”
Online reporting also frees up valuable time for police officers to respond to other calls.
It’s a win-win for the department. It frees up time for officers and for the community.
Ryan Portmann, public information officer for the Puyallup Police Department
“It’s a win-win for the department,” Portmann said. “It frees up time for officers and for the community.”
With the change in online reporting starting Feb. 1 for the department, it’s still too early to see if there’s been a significant change in how citizens report thefts and vehicle prowls, Portmann said. The department will revisit the program in several months to see how it’s doing.