In 2015, the Wheat Ridge Police Department had the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conduct a staffing study of the police department 's Patrol Operations Division and Investigations Bureau. The study concluded that there were areas where the department could improve efficiency, allowing patrol officers more time to concentrate on community-oriented and problem-oriented policing. After studying the recommendations from the IACP, staff determined that one priority was to identify alternative means of service delivery.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Property damage crashes are the third most frequent activity reported in CAD. Property damage crashes are also the third most time-consuming calls for service. Our officers complete an accident report irrespective of the severity of damage. Colorado law only requires an officer to complete a report if the damage exceeds $1,000. Our challenge is to reallocate the time staff currently spends on minor crashes, to community policing and problem solving.
Another issue arises when the department is on accident alert due to inclement weather or excessive call load. Citizens involved in crashes are asked to respond to the police department to fill out a counter report. Often this causes the involved citizen to drive miles out of their way to complete the form. Our challenge here is to fulfill the State’s requirement for reporting traffic collisions while providing the highest standards of service to the public.
There are several alternatives to the way officers handle minor property damage crashes.
One possible alternative is for officers to continue to do business as is, responding to and completing reports on all accidents regardless of...
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...on their homepage that takes the user to the Colorado State Patrol’s online accident report, https://crash.state.co.us/. This link can be accessed from any computer.
The reporting parameters as required by the Colorado State Patrol are as follows:
• No fatality or injury requiring medical attention was sustained by any person(s) involved in the accident, and;
• The accident is not an alleged hit and run, and;
• The accident does not involve damage to any public property other than wildlife, and;
• No drivers involved in the accident was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or have insurance or driver’s license violations.
Adding this service would benefit both the community and the police department, by reallocating officers time to problem-solving. This service would also make reporting accidents more convenient to the motoring public.
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