Ask Capt. Oliveira: About Those Police Reports

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“We get robbed…called the cops and we’re told to go online to fill out a report. Our car gets broken into…called the cops and we’re told to go online to fill out a report. We have recordings of a package thief…call the cops and we’re told to go online to fill our a report. What happens next? Do those reports just sit in the cloud somewhere and never gets looked at? Is there a tracking system we can follow on what’s being done with our report? How are you all using our reports?” -B.G.

Dear Reader,

I know it can be frustrating to be told to file an online report after discovering you are the victim of a crime. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to dispatch an officer to take a report on all theft crimes that have already occurred. While we strive to dispatch officers on all in progress or just occurred crimes, there are instances where certain calls such as those involving violent crime take priority. There is some good news. Recently, the City Council approved adding 20 more community service officers (CSO) to our department. CSOs help officers by taking theft reports, handling accident scenes, conducting traffic control and performing other tasks, which free up our officers to respond to more in progress calls including theft crimes. Our goal is to have those CSOs hired and starting the CSO Academy early this summer.

Filing an online report provides us valuable information. The department’s Crime Analysis Unit (CAU), which tracks crime, and our Neighborhood Crimes Unit (NCU), which investigate theft, robbery and burglary crimes, regularly review online reports. Those online reports provide us with information on crime trends, patterns and other details that helps us direct our resources more effectively. They may also provide clues in solving the crimes. Myself, all the area captains, and the Office of Operations Deputy Chief meet with CAU every Tuesday morning to review all the reported crimes from the past week. It provides us an opportunity to share information citywide since crime does not follow district boundaries. I later meet with my executive lieutenant, and the supervisors of NCU, Problem Oriented Policing Team (POP), Gang Enforcement Team (GET) Marijuana Compliance Team (MJCT) and CAU. These specialty units are assigned to the North Command to work with the community to specifically target crime and problems in our area. We review the reported crimes for the past week, get updates on investigations, develop strategies and deploy resources. The information is also shared with our patrol officers who are on the streets 24-7. While we might meet formally once a week, our officers communicate and work together to address crime every day. The online reports may be in the cloud, but we do reach up there and pull them down for the data!

In regards to a tracking system, our department is actively researching software products that will provide this information to victims who file police reports. We know that people want to be informed and this new system will have the ability to provide you more information on the status of your case.

—Capt. Oliveira

Capt. Steve Oliveira oversees the Sacramento Police Dept.’s north-area command, which includes Natomas. To submit your questions to Capt. Oliveira, send an email to [email protected] with “Ask Capt. Oliveira” in the subject line.

Speak Your Mind