Mobile Ticketing Devices Collect Data

August 03, 2020 by Devin Culham

Mobile Ticketing Devices Collect Data

Many law enforcement officers can still recall the days of hand-to-paper citations. The practice was cumbersome, time-consuming, and, most importantly, left the officer in a suspended safety situation.

Although those days are mainly in the past, agencies around the country are discovering new ways to streamline citation operations. Digital capabilities in electronic citation (eCitation) solutions enable agencies to manage citations remotely, lessening the burden on records administrative staff.

"Before we started using the electronic ticket writers and the printers in the cars, we were still doing manual ticket books, and so the officers had to have a ticket book in the car," said Rockwall Public Safety IT Manager John Bader. "They would go out, and they would write out tickets. They would bring those back in. Someone had to manually enter those. It was very time consuming."

With eCitation processes, civilians and agency staff alike, receive the benefit of clearly legible and immediately accessible citation information.

"We got new printers in all the cars, and so for the officer to electronically issue that citation in the field, immediately print out a copy, and give the person a copy of that ticket is remarkable,” shared Bader.

According to Bader, officers' abilities to input information electronically that's uploaded directly to the municipal court system has helped save time and resources.

For Rockwall, the importance of eCitation technology has been useful for more than just improving workflow.

Since the Sandra Bland Act was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2017, the state's law enforcement agencies are required to collect demographic data during traffic stops. The use of eCitation technology has allowed Rockwall to tweak its software capabilities to correspond to its state's specific reporting requirements.

"When the officer clears a traffic stop, in the software it will automatically pop up the form for the information that we're required to report to the state, and then the officer can fill that out," said Bader.

The custom-form option is a necessity for Rockwall's motorcycle officers limited in the amount of hardware they can carry into the field.

"The only data we really collect from ticket writers is for our motorcycle officers because we don't have a mobile CAD on the motorcycles," Bader said. "With the ticket writers you can also collect all the demographic profiling data."

The flexibility of the integrated software to collect data through different programs has helped the agency ensure it is collecting required demographic data during every traffic stop.

"I'll run the report from the eCitation solution, and I run the demographic profiling report from dispatch and compare the two," described Bader. "I use both of them to put together our report that we submit to the state each spring."

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