LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The Lawton Police Department is going digital with the unveiling of an online crime reporting system.
Individuals and businesses looking to file a report about a crime can use a self-service filing system on the home page of the department's website. Reports can be filed 24/7 without having to wait for an officer to come fill out paperwork. The system didn't cost the department anything, because it uses technology that was already available.
The Lawton Police Department responded to more than 200,000 calls last year alone. That number is about four times the number of calls other departments the same size in Oklahoma respond to each year. LPD says they hope it will keep officers on the streets fighting crime, instead of being bogged down with paperwork.
Lawton Police Detective Nancy Lombardo says previously, citizens had to wait anywhere between 15 minutes to more than an hour to file certain reports in some cases.
"It will definitely allow our officers to concentrate on the priority calls going out to them, and it will also give the citizens the simplicity of being able to do a report at their leisure," Det. Lombardo explained.
The reports that can be filed online fall under 12 types of incidents: simple assaults, burglary, damage to property, forgery, fraud, embezzlement, harassment, identity theft, larceny, lost property, noise complaint and threats.
It's an eight-step process, starting with filling out basic contact information to finalizing the basic incident information that is being reported.
Detective Lombardo says the reports will be looked at by a supervisor within 72 hours from the time that they were filed.
"It just alleviates a lot of paperwork and it goes right from the computer to our system. These reports will not be handled any differently than if a police officer showed up at your door," she explained.
Detective Lombardo says they want citizens to feel like they can follow the online filing process easily. However, if citizens are faced with an emergency, the department is always just a phone call away.
"We are still available, absolutely for the calls and if it is a call that needs us there immediately we still want you to utilize 911 and our non-emergency number, because we will come to the scene," Det. Lombardo said.
Detective Lombardo says when you fill out the report online, make sure to include the who, what, where, when and why.
You can also print a copy of the report for your records after you finish.
If the report that you need to file isn't given as an option online or you don't have access to the Internet, you can still call the police department at 580-581-3270 to file a report with an officer in person.
You can make use of the online reporting system here.