The next time Brentwood residents find themselves the victim of a crime, help might be just a click away thanks to a new online report filing system called Coplogic.
Here's how it works. For crimes including petty theft (stolen items not exceeding $400), vandalism (damages which do not surpass $400), lost property and harassing phone calls (calls in which the caller does not identify himself or makes repeated, unwelcome calls) residents can, at their leisure, hop online and file a police report.
The on-duty shift officer will then evaluate all online reports on a daily basis, and those that are deemed acceptable for Coplogic will be issued an official case number via e-mail.
Brentwood Police Department Liaison Wade Gomes, who helped roll out the free Internet program last week, says Coplogic makes perfect sense on a number of levels.
This accomplishes a couple of things, said Gomes. Number one: today over 80 percent of the public have computers at home, so in this day and age, it enables more people to make use of the new technology.
And secondly, by offering this additional service, our officers are freed up to dedicate more time to actually being on the street and every community can always use more police officers.
But most appealing of all is Coplogic's ability to eliminate the hurry-up-and-wait frustration of filing a report. For example, if you find someone has marked your home with graffiti or vandalized their property, you don't need stop everything, call for a police officer and wait around to file the report. With Coplogic, a report can be filed online at work or at home.
We all lead busy lives and sometimes it's hard to schedule an appointment with the police, or even take the time to call it (a report) in, he said.
The online program however, is in no way a substitute for the human touch, said Gomes, and for those who balk at the computer filing program, the Brentwood Police Department will always answer a call live and in person.
If someone is not comfortable, of course, they should just call the department, he said. We will always send a police officer; we will always respond to a citizen's call. This is just another option but not the only option.
Nevertheless, he added, the program is expected to be well received. With an initial price tag of approximately $25,000 to get the system up and running, the one-time cost has the potential to quickly pay for itself.
If you look at what it costs to have a police officer on the street and the hours they work, this is very cost efficient, said Gomes. This is an exciting, timesaving service we are able to offer the public. It's a win-win. It works for the city and it works for its citizens.
For more information on Coplogic, log onto the Brentwood Police Department at www.ci.brentwood.ca.us. and scroll down to City Departments. Click onto Police and then onto File an Online Police Report.
For additional questions, contact the Brentwood Police Department on their non-emergency number, 925-809-7799.