Five police departments in Thurston County have banded together to make reporting crimes easier for their residents, and to make police reports easily accessible.
A new website called “Police 2 Citizen” officially launched last week, and serves Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm and Tenino residents.
Laura Wohl of the Olympia Police Department said the website is designed to allow people to access certain aspects of local police departments from their computers or mobile devices. Residents can view accident reports, check jail inmate listings, view a daily bulletin, register their bicycles and report certain crimes.
So far, only thefts of items worth less than $3,000 may be reported on the site, Wohl said. But other crimes will be made available for online reporting in coming weeks.
Theft reporting may be one of the most useful tools the site has to offer — especially when there are no apparent leads in the case.
“That means that you don’t have to wait for an officer to come and tell you that there are no leads,” Wohl said. “But if you think you know who may have done it, you should still call police.”
This online reporting tool doesn’t prevent residents from reporting crimes to actual police officers, however.
“If an individual still wants a warm-body police officer to come, that’s still an option,” Wohl said. “We’ll still come.”
Anna McBee, of the Lacey Police Department, said a feature allowing people to download vehicle accident reports for insurance purposes will be useful. She said that in the past, people had to pay for this information.
“We get a lot of requests for accident reports, and now they’re available for free,” McBee said.
The site also may help police reunite people with their stolen bicycles, Wohl said. Residents are now able to register their bicycles online, listing the make, model, color and serial number. Wohl said the Olympia Police Department recovers about 60 stolen bicycles each month, and it’s often difficult to determine whom they might belong to.
McBee said she expects the crime mapping feature to be popular, too. Residents can fill in addresses to find out which crimes have happened in their neighborhoods.
“We have a lot of curious citizens who will use that a lot,” McBee said.
The “Police 2 Citizen” website can be found at p2c.tcrlerms.org.