New service allows Richmond residents to report incidents to police online

For first time, RPD hires civilian to handle complaints against cops

On Sunday, the Richmond Police Department announced a new service that allows residents to report certain crimes online rather than by phone.

The new online reporting system can be found at RPD’s website — Click on the blue button stating “Start an Online Report.”

The service allows reporting of crimes, but only when there are no known suspects. For  situations where the reporting party can identify a suspect, residents are asked to call the RPD Communications Center at (510) 233-1214 so that an officer can be assigned to assist.

The list of crimes that can be reported online include: harassing or annoying phone calls, hit-and-run collisions, identity theft, lost or mislaid property, theft, trespass to vehicle or property, vandalism and vehicle burglary. Residents can also report custody order violations, and this is the only type of incident in which it is permissible to report online even when the suspect involved is known, police said.

The service is not a replacement for emergency calls, police say, and residents are encouraged to continue to call 911 in emergency situations.

“We expect this Internet based reporting service to be very popular among citizens who have come to expect police services to be provided immediately and conveniently online,” the department said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

RPD added: “The service will allow the public to file a report at a time that’s best for them without having to wait for an officer to respond or call them back. The public will be able to print a temporary copy of the report upon submission. The report will be reviewed by police department staff and once approved, the filing person will receive an email with a case number and a copy of the report without any cost. The report will transfer into the Richmond Police Department records management system just like reports authored by officers.”