Police Plan to Reduce Wait Times with Virtual Police Response Pilot Project

Manitoba Post StaffNews

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Police Service is conducting a Virtual Police Response pilot project as an alternative reporting method. It is designed to test the use of online video platforms to enhance police ability to contact victims of residential and commercial Break & Enter events in a more timely and efficient manner.

Currently, two online video platforms are being tested; FaceTime (Apple devices) and Google Duo (Android devices).

Virtual Police Response is easy to use. After reporting a break and enter, an officer will contact the reporting person to gain information about the break and enter. The officer will ask them to consent to a real-time video assessment of the break-in.

If consent is granted, officers will virtually connect via mobile device with the reporting person and walk through the scene, assessing the damage. They will then determine if additional resources are required, including investigative and forensic officers.

The reporting person is under no obligation to consent to a virtual assessment.

There will be no additional collection of personal information beyond what the Police Service is already authorized to collect for law enforcement purposes.

The online interaction will not be recorded or retained in any capacity by the Police Service and is used for assessment purposes only.

If successful, the initiative will reduce the public’s wait time for a response when reporting incidents of break and enter allowing for timely entry of stolen property onto CPIC, the Canadian Police Information Centre’s database.

This project was funded by the City of Winnipeg’s Innovation Strategy Program.