Craig Police adds online resources for communication
Craig Police Department has released new resources for citizens to not only see exactly where certain crimes and arrests happen, but also make non-emergency reports online with the establishment of the department’s CrimeWatch website.
Chief Mike Cochran told the Craig City Council on Tuesday that users on the website can receive the latest released updates through CrimeWatch. He added that citizens have frequently called about knowing where crimes are happening in the city, and CrimeWatch provides that open transparency with the public.
“With new people moving into the community, I get calls at least once a week wanting to know what the crime is like on that particular street,” Cochran said. “This gives everybody a place that they can take a look at that and actually tell what’s going on in what area.”
The website also features an arrest tab, which shows mugshots of those who are arrested by the department along with what charges they received when arrested and a brief description of the event.
“I’ve also had some questions, and that is, are we intending to humiliate people?” Cochran said. “I will tell you that everything that’s on this website is public record. It is all posted on mobile patrol. And one of the biggest things that I heard when I took this position from the community is: we wanted more transparency, we wanted to know where crime was occurring (and) we want to know what kind of crime was occurring.”
The website also has several reporting resources for citizens. One features the option for citizens to file police reports for non-emergencies online. Participants simply add in contact information, details of the incident and the option to include photographs with their report. As soon as someone hits submit, each supervisor receives an email of that report.
“We talked several times in council about the shortage of officers and that we had to come up with alternative ways to get information that maybe wasn’t an emergency,” Cochran said. “Maybe something as simple as you go out to hook your trailer up to haul your ATV or your snow machine and the tag’s missing. So that’s really not an emergency, but this gives you the opportunity to file a report online with the police department.”
Residents can also register their homes’ alarm systems with the department as well as a security camera registry. With the camera registry, Cochran hopes that it would become easier for police to track down video of crime that happens in those areas. Police cannot access the footage through the registry; it just gives them notice of where registered cameras are, and officers can visit with camera owners about potential footage they may have.
“If we get a crime on West Fourth, and we’re hoping to find footage of somebody on West Fourth, we log in and say ‘Well, hey, we’ve got five cameras on West Fourth,’” Cochran said. “So then we know to come talk to you and see if you have recorded footage of what took place.”
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