OPP trying new reporting system

Duane Hicks

The local OPP detachment has begun to use a new method of reporting that should save officers some time.
Until now, officers have had to go to the detachment after responding to incidents, sit down at a computer, and file occurrence reports themselves.
Officers now will be able to file occurrence reports by going back to the detachment, calling a number, and verbally relaying their report, after which time a civilian at a remote location will type up the report.
The report then is reviewed by the respective officer to make sure it’s correct before forwarding it to their supervisor for final approval.
The system is known as Civilian Data Entry (CDE).
Detachment commander Insp. Steve Shouldice said officers received some training March 17, and have started to use the system.
“Once the officers have learned the system and become fluent with it, it should save time with regards to how much time they’re spending on the computer,” he told the local Police Services Board meeting this morning.
Insp. Shouldice said Sioux Lookout was a pilot project detachment in the region, and started using CDE back in October.
He noted the aim is for detachments to use the CDE for 50 percent of the incidents officers are dispatched to.
Right now, Sioux Lookout is the highest in the province at 79 percent, said Insp. Shouldice, adding he’d love to see the local detachment match that.
“We have a method of monitoring and getting a percentage readout as to how we’re doing,” he explained.
“The officers have already started using it, and we’re going to monitor it and use to its full potential.”
Insp. Shouldice said the only drawback to the system right now is officers have to return to the detachment to use it.
At some point in the future, however, all officers should get mobile devices to be able to call in occurrence reports from the field.
Meanwhile, there was a significant decrease in thefts under $5,000 last month in Rainy River District, with just three incidents reported compared to 10 in January.
All three took place in Fort Frances.
Two were shoplifting incidents—in one, the store declined to pursue charges for theft of a low-value item. In the second, a 30-year-old male was charged.
In both cases, the value of the items was under $35.
In the third incident of theft, cash and prescription pills were taken from a local residence.
The complainant did not want police to purse the matter any further than taking a report.
There also was a decrease in impaired driving charges in Rainy River District—from six in January to just one in February (the five-year average is four per month
The lone incident occurred on Highway 11, but not in Fort Frances.
There was one sexual assault in Rainy River District in February, down from two in January (the five-year average is two per month).
It seems the frigid weather last month had an impact on criminal activity.
The number of charges in Fort Frances in February was 64—down from 79 last year and 109 the year before.
There was a total of 272 incidents reported in February, which is just a little higher than the five-year average.
The busiest February in the past five years was in 2012, with 327 incidents.
The quietist one was in 2011, with 216.
In other news, local resident Ron Scofield was re-appointed to the Police Services Board for a third two-year term, effective April 16.