Dec 10, 2013 7:18 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Back in September, the Corpus Christi Police Department announced officers would stop spending their time working minor traffic accidents. Instead, drivers involved would be told to download accident reports forms and fill them out themselves.
Officers still respond to accident calls, but the city's new policy of asking drivers to handle the paperwork on minor, non-injury crashes, has slashed in half the amount of the time spent handling the calls.
The math is pretty simple: there are at any given time about 50 officers patrolling Corpus Christi. There are about 800 car crashes, many minor, each month.
Captain Mark Gutierrez tells us it can take about 90 minutes for an officer to clear an accident, meaning police can save 1,200 man hours every month.
"When we have officers that are able to clear up from minor accidents scenes within 15 minutes as opposed to an hour and a half, it translates into.. better response times and better response to the citizens."
Under the new policy, patrols work only 400 crashes a month and can go where they're most needed.
Guitierrez told KRIS 6 News that police officers are an unnecessary part of a minor traffic accident investigation.
He said the biggest part falls on insurance companies, by investigating who's at fault and maiken a final decision on paying out a claim.
But a minor car crash can still cost hundreds of dollars and bring a lot of stress. So when it's your word against the other drivers and there's no police report to fall back on, what's the downside? We'll follow up with that side of the story tomorrow on KRIS 6 News.