GREAT FALLS — The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that it now offers online crime reporting for non-emergent incidents.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter says the system enables people to make reports from the safety and comfort of their home, and allows deputies to focus on the immediate needs of the community, remaining available to respond to urgent calls and spending their time investigating crimes of a more serious nature or patrolling to deter criminal activity altogether. Dispatchers will also be able to focus on priority and emergency calls.
He explained, “They won’t have to burden the 911 system. They will just simply go online, make the report, get their case number and go about their day as far as that goes, so I think in that aspect it will help. The other thing I think it will lead to people reporting crimes that they wouldn’t normally report.”
Sheriff Slaughter said the new system should not be used for in-progress incidents, serious crimes, or car crashes. People are urged to report misdemeanor theft, vandalism, vehicle break-ins, harassing phone calls, phone scams, traffic complaints, suspicious activities, informational complaints, and trespassing complaints.
Once a report is submitted by a user, the report is integrated into the records system and the incident is issued an incident report number and the user is notified of the incident number. Deputies will follow-up on submitted reports as appropriate.
Sheriff Slaughter stressed that use of the online reporting system is entirely voluntary and is provided for user convenience to report certain crimes which do not require an immediate deputy response to the scene.
When someone access the online system, he or she must acknowledge:
- This is not an emergency
- This is not an in-progress crime
- This incident occurred either within Cascade County or within the city limits of one of our contract towns, Belt or Cascade
- There was no seizable evidence left behind
- You are the victim of the crime
- You must have a valid e-mail address
- Misdemeanor incidents only ($1,500 or less, if applicable)
Sheriff Slaughter said when in doubt if you should complete an online report versus having a deputy respond to your incident, you can always call the 911 Dispatch Center and they will guide you on your best course of action.