By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After the deadliest year of homicides in more than 25 years in St. Paul, police there are changing the way they respond to certain kinds of emergency calls.

The Emergency Communications Center will no longer send officers to low priority incidents. It’s part of an ongoing effort to make sure officers are available to respond to higher priority crimes.

The policy change will redirect certain types of incidents to be reported online.

“Between June 2018 and July 2019 more than 5,100 of our most serious calls had a delay in the time it took to send an officer to the call,” St. Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders said.

There are nine types of incidents that emergency services will now ask to reported online: criminal damage to property, illegal dumping, harassing phone calls, lost property, auto theft, fraud and forgery, detached garage burglary, informational reports and theft.

If a person calls to report one of those incidents, they will be referred to online reporting or be referred to teleserve.

The teleserve operations will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. St. Paul Police hope the policy change will help them be able to respond to more serious crimes in progress.

“It’s going to free up our officers to deal with the most serious crimes and calls for service and help people who need them the most,” Linders said.

St. Paul Police say every report that is filed online will be reviewed by an officer.

St. Paul Public Libraries will also post information on filing a police report online in case someone does not have access to internet at home.

Click here for more information.

Kate Raddatz