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Ceres Police's online crime reporting system works well
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The Ceres Police Department has had "Online Crime Reporting" as a service to the public for last three years. This program is intended to make the reporting of minor crimes (where there is no suspect information) more timely and convenient for the public. Online reporting also expedites processing time for those filing police reports for insurance or court purposes. At the same time, this kind of reporting saves time for the agency, which helps make us more efficient.

Online reporting is intended for people needing a police report for insurance purposes, and it is also important to report these "lower level" incidents so that the police can look for patterns and possibly identify and arrest the suspects. It is also a way for people to document court order violations and also increases the chances for citizens to have their stolen or lost property returned to them when it is found and connect suspects to these crimes.

Online reporting is not for emergencies! Police employees review the submitted reports daily, usually in the mornings. If you have an emergency or an urgent matter, call 911. The Ceres Online Reporting system is for incidents that have occurred within our city limits, except for identity theft cases where the crime location is unknown, but the victim lives or has a business in Ceres.

The crime categories most suitable for the Online Report system are harassing phone calls, court order violations, minor hit and run cases (involving a parked vehicle) without suspect information, identity theft, vandalism, lost property, basic thefts and thefts from autos. Remember, Online Reporting is not for cases that have known or possible suspects, because these usually require a more timely police investigation.

We have been working to add the Spanish version of the Online Reporting program to the system, but progress has been slow. At this time, we have set a goal to add the Spanish function within about three months. In the meantime, Spanish-speaking citizens are encouraged to contact Ceres Police Dispatch to report crimes at (209) 538-5712.

Once the online report has been completed, the sender will see a notice stating that "your online police report has been submitted," showing that your police report is complete. A case number will be provided and the report will be printable. All submitted reports will be reviewed and if circumstances warrant, and will be investigated for possible suspect leads.

If you do not have internet access, the Ceres Police Department has a kiosk located in its lobby where you can file your police report. This kiosk is a great alternative to waiting for an officer to respond and the report can be immediately printed, free of charge. Obtaining copies of police reports from the Records Department normally costs $7 per report and can take up to 10 days from the time it is requested, so utilizing the kiosk or online reporting is a free alternative that I encourage citizens to take advantage of.

In the unfortunate event that you become a victim of a crime that is appropriate to report online, you can access Online Reporting by opening the City of Ceres website at, clicking on the "File a Police Report" icon on the right side of the web page, and proceed from there. Keep in mind that making a false police report is against the law. Over 500 reports were filed in 2009 online and via the kiosk; we hope to see Ceres citizens using this service more and more.