The Gilbert Police Department is the third Valley law enforcement agency to partner with a Michigan-based company to provide accident reports online in the hope of streamlining department functions and creating a convenient program for residents.
"It's the same reporting process in-house for us," said Gilbert police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marino. "(Accident reports) are uploaded nightly."
Those reports, he says, are transferred to a large database controlled by a company called TRACView, which also services the Scottsdale and El Mirage police departments, according to its Web site.
TRACView spokesman Josh Puuri said the company, based in Lansing, Mich., originally intended the service to create ease for automotive insurance companies without the back-and-forth process for records with the police department.
"The reports come to us usually two to three days after (the traffic incident)," Puuri said. "The insurance company can immediately get them all online so it eliminates a lot of the time and in-between processes."
People requesting documents need the police report number and incident date to expedite the process, Puuri said.
For a $10 charge, Gilbert residents can request their traffic reports and get immediate results from Gilbert's Web site, Marino said. Without the online service, traffic reports typically take several days to process following an official written request to the police department headquarters, near the intersection of Gilbert and Warner roads.
Accident reports up to 30 pages cost $5 total but each additional page costs 25 cents, according to Gilbert policy.
Residents then have to pick up the documents at the building, a task that can often inconvenience the person and take time from Gilbert staff, Marino said.
Picking up the reports will save residents an extra $5 charge but causes them to lose the online option of receiving free updates for ongoing investigations, he said. The extra charge for the online service goes to TRACView while Gilbert receives the normal amount for uploading the reports.
The Chandler Police Department also provides accident reports online through a different company for a $5 charge, according to its Web site. Neither Tempe nor Mesa police provide the online service.
Marino said TRACView employees approached the department this year and set up the service in October free of charge.