EUGENE, Ore. — Cutting down on property crime is an uphill battle for the Eugene Police Department.
It’s all about knowing what’s happening when and where. For that, investigators need your help.
In 2010, the department started using a program called Cop Logic, a citizens online reporting system.
“The number of calls we field increases yearly, and yet our financial resources don’t. To the contrary, they cut. So as that happens, we have to be more intelligent about how we do business and figure out areas where we can do things in different ways, such as online reporting,” said Lt. Doug Mozan, Eugene Police Department.
Within a year of its launch, the site generated 500 reports.
“Each year, we’re starting to grow and see a little bit more,” said Jean Stronach, EPD Technical Services Manager.
You can report crimes like vandalism and theft, but the list is growing.
“Right now, we’re working on some identity theft crimes. Just as the department says, we have a need and we really like to move that job to the citizens. We get a group together and we work through those,” Stronach said.
This week we got to test the system out for when someone busted out KEZI 9 News Anchor Brandi Smith’s car window. It’s a run-of-the-mill crime in Eugene–one that officers don’t even respond to in person anymore. So some victims just clean up the broken glass, get a new window and never report it. But the online reporting system is so easy.
“It basically walks them through, step by step, what they need to do,” Stronach said.
Officers hope more people will use it to help keep their neighborhoods safe.
“Whether it’s a stolen garden hose or a broken out window or a destroyed lawn statue, we want to know about it because we can’t do anything about crime as a whole unless we know even when the little stuff is happening,” Mozan said.
EPD needs to know all that so it can send out its data-led policing teams, using officers as efficiently as possible and putting them in the right place at the right time.