The Wheat Ridge Police Department handles between 35,000 and 41,000 calls for police service every year. At least 20% of those calls for service are cold calls, where the crime has already occurred, the suspect is gone, and no evidence exists. However, the victim still needs to make a report or the complaint still needs to be filed.
In the past, these calls for service were held by dispatch until an officer was able to clear from more urgent calls, such as crimes in progress, crimes that had just occurred, or crimes that involved physical violence.
The Wheat Ridge Police Department conducted extensive research in 2005 to determine the viability of using civilian report takers as an alternative service delivery method for our citizens.
The result of that research was the addition of two civilian report-taker positions. These police support clerks handle a variety of calls for service that do not require a police officer. The availability of the clerks has decreased the police department's response times and has increased customer satisfaction.