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Online reporting system working well
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The Ceres Police Division has, for several years, had an online reporting system available for the public to use for reporting certain types of crimes. The original system was a good start, but improvement was needed to make it more user-friendly and effective for both the victims and police investigators.

The online reporting system exists to allow victims to make timely police reports for non-violent crimes where no suspect is readily apparent. It allows people to file a report without having to wait for a police officer or community service officer to contact them and prepare the report for them. It is important to report all crimes, since a suspect is often later identified, and police need to know the locations and types of crimes being committed in the city. When property crimes occur, victims often need a police report for insurance purposes. The online reporting system can help expedite the process so victims can file their insurance claims in a timelier manner.

At this time, the online reporting system is only in the English language. The Spanish version is expected to be ready within a month or two, but some additional preparations are still required. It may go without saying, but online reporting is definitely not for in-progress crimes. If there's an emergency, call 911. The system in Ceres is for crimes that occurred within our city limits, so if you need to report a crime that occurred elsewhere, the matter should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.

The kinds of crimes most suitable for online reporting are identity theft, harassing phone calls, court order violations, lost property, vehicle burglaries, minor hit and run car accidents, vandalism, lost property, vehicle burglaries, miscellaneous thefts and other similar crimes where the suspect(s) is unknown. Victims are not required to use the online system in order to have a report filed. If police contact is desired, and you prefer not to file your report online, just let the dispatcher or police records clerk know your wishes.

The online reporting system can be accessed from any computer with internet access. Simply go to the city of Ceres webpage at and click on the icon that says "File a Police Report," located in the right side margin of the page. There is also a kiosk located in the Ceres Police Division lobby for public use that provides access to the online crime reporting system.

The system that we have acquired is very easy to use and requires very little writing. The victim's information and crime location must be typed into the form, but the rest of the form is completed with a "point and click" process. Once completed, all reports are reviewed by a police employee to ensure all the necessary information is there. The report review process also allows police personnel to look for crime trends and possible similar events where a likely suspect is already known or in custody. Further investigation by detectives will occur if the circumstances warrant it. Also, it is a crime to file a false police report under any circumstances. Persons filing online reports will be given a case number and the reporting party will be able to print a copy of the report for yourself and to submit to your insurance company if need be.

The online reporting system is not intended to replace proper investigations involving known suspects or when there are serious or violent crimes. The system is in place for the convenience of the public, and to allow for more efficient use of limited police resources. We encourage citizens to use the online reporting system whenever possible and appropriate and it is not intended to discourage reporting in the event that someone is not comfortable using a computer, or, if for other reasons, they want to speak to a police representative in person.