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Residents of a small Washington town on the Columbia River now have a new way to report crimes to their local police agency—an online reporting system that goes live on March 1, 2019.

According to The Columbian, residents of Washougal, WA, can start submitting reports Friday for non-emergency and non-violent crimes through the police department's Public Safety Citizens Service Portal.

Chief Ron Mitchell said that his desired goal for the new system is to enable citizens to more simply report crimes that generally don't need an officer to respond to the victim's location, and to better allocate the department's limited resources in a more efficient, cost-effective manner.

The department employs 21 sworn officers, as well as support staff. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Washougal is just shy of 16,000. The Columbian reports that the town has grown by approximately 2,700 residents in the past decade.

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