OPINION: An Argument Against Letting Citizens File Police Reports Online

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What safety does a police officer bring? What happens when we lose this sense of safety? The Edison Police Department recently enacted a new system called the Coplogic System; this system would allow citizens to file a police report online. The presence of a police officer is the most effective deterrent to criminals, if a young teen vandalizes a home, and the next day sees an officer in front of the home or in the neighborhood, the young teen is most likely to not vandalize that area again. Although listed as minor crimes, theft, loss of property and vandalism are not minor when the victim is you.

The Coplogic System is flawed for several reasons. First, the community needs that sense of security that comes with the presence of the police. Second, the victim also needs to feel the same sense of security that an officer is protecting not only their person but their property. Third, time management, according to the article the system will save 2,000 hours of manual labor; however every report must be reviewed and catalog. When one calls 9-1-1, the operator will ask the victim a few brief questions and depending on their answers, they will either be directed to the online website or a police dispatcher.

If a person calls in with a vandalism report, they will most likely be referred to the website; however, the culprit may still be lurking around the property in which a police officer would be able to arrest the suspect. The biggest problem is that the police officer’s salary is paid by the taxpayers; meanwhile they are cutting the amount of work these officers will conduct and yet still are receiving the same salary. Finally, those individuals who do not own computers, or are computer illiterate, mostly the underprivileged and senior citizens, are told to go to their local library or Senior Center. Policing is proactive; it should not be the victims responsibly to leave the safety of their home to report a crime.

In conclusion, this new Coplogic System is flawed and the citizens have the right to know that this system will not only affect the crime rate, but rather cause an influx of confidence in the police force. We must stand together and inform others of this absurd act which will cause a great change in the safety of a neighborhood. The flaws of this system outweigh the good and we must remove this from the system.

Matthew Aitken
Editor’s Note: The author is a student at St. Joseph High School

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