The Chapel Hill Police Department launched its new online crime reporting system last week, providing Chapel Hill residents with another way to file non-emergency police reports.
The online crime reporting system can be found on the department's Police-to-Citizen website and is the newest addition to its existing Virtual Report Unit. The VRU also handles non-emergency reports by phone and in-person at the police department headquarters Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Meg McGurk, Chapel Hill community safety planner and lead creator for the online crime reporting system, said the website will be monitored by non-patrol officer staff who are trained to take non-emergency reports.
"The website is always live," she said. "You can make an online report at any time. Our VRU staff is checking it to respond."
McGurk said the online crime reporting system will make filing non-emergency reports more convenient for the community.
Non-emergency crimes that can be reported online include identity theft, damaged or stolen property, damage to or theft from a vehicle, phone scams and lost property.
“If somebody is an emergency or somebody wants or needs an officer, they should be calling 911,” McGurk said. “As you go through the criteria, you have to choose one of these specific ones, so you couldn't put in something that would require an officer response on it.”
The online crime reporting system was created in response to the recommendations made by the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force.
The task force was created by the Town in 2020 and consisted of 13 members and two alternates before it disbanded after submitting its final report in June of 2021.