Detroit Police Department's virtual precinct opens city-wide on Wednesday

WXYZ - The Detroit Police Department says it will put its virtual precinct program into effect on Wednesday.

The goal of the program is to use officers more effectively, and get more out on the streets patrolling. 

Residents will notice the change if they go to their precinct to report a non-emergency crime outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Outside those hours residents will be asked to call a phone number, to speak to an officer in the "virtual precinct."  That officer will be able to take reports or help residents answer questions.

The change will allow the department to have fewer officers dealing with non-emergencies after hours.

A non-emergency is a crime reported after the fact, such as a stolen car.

Chief Ralph Godbee says the program was tested out at Detroit's Northeastern District.  Those in charge of the program believe it has been successful.

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