Altavista Police Department launches new online incident reporting system

The Altavista Police Deparment is rolling out a new Citizen Incident Reporting program beginning today. The new online system is exclusively for the public to make non-emergency incident reports. Emergencies should still be reported by calling 911.

The system is extremely easy to use.

1 Go to https://altavistapoliceva.policecitizen.com

2. Click on "Report and Incident."

3. Select the category: lost property, theft, theft from vehicle, vandalism, vandalism to a vehicle. (The website provides descriptions and examples.)

4. The system will guide users through the rest of the process, collecting reporting citizen's information, incident details, and any persons, property, or vehicles involved.

5. At the end of the process is a chance to review the information. It is important to do so, because once the report is submitted, the information cannot be changed.

The reporting system website works on computers, tablets, and smart phones. "We feel that this is a goo tool for the public to use to report incidents at their leisure," explains APD Chief Tommy Merricks. "It also helps in trying to 'flatten the curve' with COVID-19

"Once a citizen files a report, it is submitted to a supervisor in the police department and will be assigned to an officer for follow-up." Merricks added. "We want to reiterate, it is not in lieu of us responding. We'll still respond as needed. It should make it easier for citizens to report non-emergency situations.

The new program is powered by CentralSquare Technologies, the records management systems company that both the APD and the Campbell County Sheriff's Office have started using. Merricks pointed out that the citizen reporting service is being provided for free from CentralSquare through the end of the year as a service to help the community during the time of coronavirus.

Chief Merricks stated that the APD welcomes feedback-both positive and negative-from the community regarding the new system.