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Reporting incidents on the PAPD website

Original post made by ResidentOfPaloAlto, Midtown, on Nov 17, 2007

Has anyone tried to report a property vandalism incedent using the PAPD website? Were you successful at the first try ?

Someone vandalized certain things in our front yard - probably sometime after 8:00pm last night. This is not the first time this has happened. I called the PAPD non-emergency number and they told me to report it using the website. He said it was "malicious mischief".

I tried to find a form for "malicious mischief" - didn't get it; got the vandalism form.. it is so complicated ! They needed victim's information - it is "Required" - I ended up putting "N/A". It just went on and on - all irrelavant information. At the end of the form, I finally found a text area where I could type in the details and the damage done (note, this was not in the property vandalism area)

In the end, I hit submit - apparently I had forgotten to put in my age (but I had my birthdate in there .. so wonder why they could not figure the age from it ! ). It showed me the "Errors" and told me to go "Back" .. all the info that I had painstakingly entered in the form had disappeared ! They did not save anything - sent me back to the original blank form and expected me to type it again.

Needless to say, I abandoned the process right there and then. I will get to it sometime later today - but I am just so upset at the waste of efforts ( needless to say that they have made such kind of reporting so difficult )

Comments (3)

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Posted by janette
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Always save stuff (cntl A cntl C) before hitting submit/send in a browser. I am not sure if it is the web page or the browser, but numerous sites lose the text in those circumstances.

Like this comment
Posted by janette
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2007 at 5:59 pm

That said, Hitlerian forms that demand info you may not have or that's irrelevant are bad user interface design.

Like this comment
Posted by Bad interface?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Bad interface design in the new web site?
The web site is a disaster. An insult to the intelligence. A mish mash. I don't even try to use it anymore. I can't take the circular clicking that often ends up nowhere.
It was designed by people who don't use city web sites, that's what I think. It is just unbelievable how silly it is to have a "Know Zone." Maybe they thought we are all in the first grade and only the smart kids want to know things. There is no sense to its organization.
But then, ask me what I really think.

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