The Citizen’s Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) is advocating for the creation of a Non-Emergency Crime Reporting Unit within the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). This unit would enable Philadelphians to report non-emergency crimes such as theft, vandalism, and car break-ins online or via phone, eliminating the need to call 911 and await in-person officer responses, which can often result in lengthy waits.
Implementing online and phone reporting for non-emergency incidents would alleviate the workload of 911 operators and patrol officers, enabling faster responses to emergency calls. This change would also reduce administrative tasks for officers, allowing them to engage more actively in community-oriented policing. Such a transition is especially crucial as PPD grapples with staffing challenges.
CPOC’s recommendations include establishing a Non-Emergency Reporting Unit staffed by civilians to handle telephone and online crime reports. PPD should also review all priority 3, 4, and 6 calls to identify those that do not necessitate physical police presence. CPOC is poised to support PPD in implementing these changes, including data collection, progress reporting, and monitoring the unit’s effectiveness once established.