(By Chris Nocco, Pasco County Sheriff) – At the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, we are continuously finding new ways to better our service to Pasco citizens. Our most recent endeavor allows citizens another option, instead of calling the county’s nonemergency number, to quickly and efficiently report certain types of crimes themselves.
The Sheriff’s Office implemented a new online reporting system in October. The option for citizens to call the nonemergency number to report a crime is still available. If a citizen cannot or does not want to use the online reporting system, the call for service will be handled in the traditional fashion. This new online option is another means to expedite service to our citizens.
By visiting our Internet website at PascoSheriff.us and clicking on the drop-down link “Online Resources,” citizens will see a display of links that includes “Online Reporting.” Citizens can utilize either the Pasco Sheriff’s Office online reporting link or the Florida Highway Patrol’s link to report minor vehicle accidents without injury.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office online reporting system allows citizens to report the following types of incidents. Also listed is the number of reports that we had for these incidents in 2013:
- Criminal mischief (under $1,000) — 894 reports.
- Criminal mischief to a vehicle (under $1,000) — 557 reports.
- Illegal dumping — 93 reports.
- Harassing telephone calls — 61 reports.
- Lost property — 193 reports.
This new system will allow citizens to report these incidents at their convenience, and it will also help to reduce the amount of time our deputies spend handling these types of calls for service.
As noted above, these types of incidents resulted in nearly 1,800 reports where a deputy had to either respond to the location to gather information or for a desk officer to take the information from a citizen over the phone. We think this new system will be a time-saver for both the citizen and the agency.
How does the new system work?
When a citizen logs on to our website, he will first enter information about the incident into an online form. The online system will then forward that information to a Sheriff’s Office desk officer, and the citizen will receive a confirmation email with a tracking number (not a case number). The desk officer will then review the submitted report and accept it into the official Sheriff’s Office crime reporting system. The citizen will then receive an email stating that the report has been accepted.
After review, it is possible that the desk officer will determine that the report does not meet the criteria of the online reporting system. In that case, the citizen will receive an email providing the reasons why and direct him to contact the Pasco County public safety communications center to have a deputy respond to take a report, or to contact the desk officer at a provided number. In certain cases, the reviewing desk officer may contact the citizen directly to clarify information so that the report can be finalized and processed.
This use of technology is another example of how our agency is trying to work smarter and more efficiently for the benefit of our citizens. Additional examples include our inmate video visitation system and the inmate email system. These programs allow family and friends of inmates to communicate with them from home, saving them the time and money it would take them to visit in person. It also helps to prevent foot traffic in our jail and reduces the need for deputies to regulate jail visitors, which incurs additional resources.
– Chris Nocco
Sheriff of Pasco County, Florida