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Santa Maria unveils new online site to report non-emergency crimes 

Santa Maria Online Crime Reporting
SMPD Online Reporting System

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria has unveiled a new online website that allows users to report non-emergency crimes to the police department.

The system is available in both English and Spanish and allows users to submit a report immediately. A tracking number is then provided, which then allows a copy of the police report to be printed for free.

"The Santa Maria Police Department is excited to roll out our brand new online reporting platform to the members of the community," said Commander Daniel Cohen, Santa Maria Police Department. "It should enhance the services that we provide. It allows community members to report very quickly and easily. They can report crimes to the police department from the comfort of their own home. They can do it from using their cell phone. It'll provide them a tracking number, and ultimately community members can receive a copy of that report very quickly and for free."

The city believes the online system should improve the timeliness the police department will address select non-emergency services.

"Community. members will no longer need to wait during busy periods to make a report to the police," said Cohen. "That can be done very quickly and easily from home. It will also help free up dispatchers and police officers so they can focus on emergency crimes for service and also allow people who want to make an anonymous tip to law enforcement to point is in the right direction."

In order for a non-emergency crime to be reported in the new system, it must fit certain criteria, including:

  • It is not an emergency. 
  • The incident occurred within the Santa Maria City limits. 
  • It did not occur on a state freeway. 
  • It does not involve a motor vehicle and/or license plate theft. 
  • It does not involve theft from someone unlawfully entering your home.  
  • There are no known suspects. 
  • No firearms were involved in the incident. 

According to the city, the types of incidents that can be reported online include: 

  • Custody Order Violation 
  • Fraud and Identity Theft
  • Harassing Phone Calls – Any person who repeatedly, intending to annoy, telephones or makes contact by means of electronic communication.  For example, immediate hang-ups, obscene language, emails, text messages with no known suspects. 
  • Hit & Run – Damage caused by another vehicle in which the driver should have left information or fled the scene without stopping to provide information.
  • Lost Property - Personal property that was unintentionally left by its true owner.  For example, property left behind at an unknown location or left behind with no attempt to retrieve it. 
  • Theft– Except motor vehicles and license plates. 
  • Vandalism – Excluding graffiti, Any person who maliciously damages, destroys, or defaces another person’s property.  For example, knocking over a mailbox, spray painting a wall, or throwing a rock through a window 
  • Vehicle Burglary - Theft from an unlocked or locked vehicle 

The online crime reporting system comes less than a year after Santa Maria unveiled its Neighborhood Connect, a similar online portal that allows community members to report concerns to city government.

"Neighborhood Connect has been proving really successful," said Mark van de Kamp, Santa Maria Public Information Manager. "That's an opportunity for residents to go online and let us know about non-emergency issues, not crime reports, but just generally issues, so it could be an inoperable street light, an abandoned vehicle, homelessness encampments, signs that are blocked by trees and a few other items. That really helps us understand what's happening in the community because we have eyes and ears and you can get a response usually the same day or within a few hours or a few days of where your response is in the system. It gets assigned to various departments. In most cases we get back to you really quickly and we can resolve many of them with you in just a couple of days. Although some of the more difficult cases take a few weeks."

To access the Santa Maria Police Department Online Reporting System, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts
santa maria police department

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