In an effort to free up police manpower, the city is launching a new telephone reporting system for certain minor incidents of theft, vandalism, and others that often do not require police response.
“It’s for those types of jobs where a police response may not really be necessary,” said police director Jerry Speziale. Lost or stolen license plates, minor thefts, minor vandalism, theft of a bicycle, theft from an automobile, theft of an automobile, and calls for referral to other agencies will be handled through the Tele-Service Reporting System which will be launched on Sunday, August 16th, 2015, he said.
Residents calling in to make a report will speak to a police officer to file their report. “This will give the public a way to make a report and get it sent to them right away,” said the director. Reports will be taken telephonically by police communications division personnel. And the person making the report will be able to receive it either via electronically or through the U.S Postal Service.
A resident will forgo the experience of waiting for a police officer to visit them to file the report for the aforementioned incidents. In fact, due to the large volume of serious calls city police handle, often a theft, vandalism or other minor incident gets pushed to the back of the priorities list resulting in delayed police response. Residents have complained about waiting hours for police response.
Speziale said serious calls for service often knocks down minor calls for things like a lost license plate. “The way the que works is it keeps knocking your lost license plate down and by the time you get somebody there it’s been hours and hours,” he said.
The wait leaves city residents frustrated and with the thought that police are not responding when in fact they are tackling more serious calls, said the director. “This service will cut down public inconvenience and streamline the process for our residents making patrol units more available for important duties and crimes,” said Speziale.
This system will save time for both police officers and residents, said the director. He said police officers will use the saved time to conduct more patrols in neighborhoods. This service will improve response time, said Speziale.
During peak call hours, police will redirect residents to use the tele-service to file their report by speaking to an officer on light duty.
“This procedure is in line with effective and efficient 21st Century policing, which will serve the public and increase response time of our patrol units,” said Speziale.
Members of the public will be able to contact the Paterson Police Department 24 hours a day to make reports of vandalism, theft, or other minor incidents by calling (973) 321-1111.