BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Police Department has a new initiative to report crimes, the service allows police reports to be filed online instead of citizens calling 911 for certain crimes.

The new service is accessible through the department’s website and designed for people or victims to file police reports who don’t know who the suspect is, according to BPD.

Crimes the department says can be reported online include property crimes, identity theft, vandalism, harassing phone calls, lost property and hit and runs.

Officials say these crimes often require a police report for insurance and this initiative will get people reports within 48 hours of filing.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood said the tool is an efficiency improvement for the department.

“This on-line reporting will allow for citizens to quickly file police reports at their convenience without having to wait for officers to arrive on scene. This service is yet another example of how the Buffalo Police are always looking to become more efficient and to better serve our community,” Lockwood said.

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.