If you received a ticket in San Jose, Calif. six months ago, you would have to sit and wait for the officer to fill out a form in order to receive the citation. Once complete, the officer would ask you to press hard when signing the citation so the signature was legible on four copies. One copy of the citation went to the courts, one to the auditing department, one to the police department and another to you.
Once the officer submitted the ticket, each copy was separately processed, causing efforts to be duplicated between the organizations. With the deployment of Intermec’s CN3 mobile computers and 3i Infotech Inc. software solution, an Intermec accredited partner, this process was expedited and streamlined, ultimately reducing the number of errors made when tickets were transcribed and saving valuable labor and funds.
Many times officers neglected to fill in certain boxes or entered incorrect data. This created extra labor for both the quality assurance process and for the officers who would be required later to complete necessary paperwork to fix the error or risk the citation being thrown out in court.
Once the ticket was issued, it was then sent to the records division for quality control. If the ticket did not pass the quality assurance process, the check person issued an amendment form, attached it to the original ticket and returned it to the officer to correct. If the information on the ticket was validated, one copy was sent to the courts and entered into their database, and another copy was sent to the police department and entered into a separate database.
By segmenting the process for entering violations into the system databases, there was more opportunity for error. Two different data entry departments meant two separate opportunities for mistakes. Using this system, the SJPD was averaging a 10 percent annual error rate. Two systems for data entry also meant twice the labor—something the SPJD needed to optimize during budget cuts.
“We needed a device that was rugged enough for the officers to use out in the field,” said Davis. “We also needed a device with an extended battery life, write-on screen capabilities and a card-swiper that could read drivers’ licenses. The software solution needed to enable us to swipe the violator’s driver’s license and at a later time download the information to the police department’s data base, and after, to the court’s database.”
After viewing several presentations, SJPD opted for a bundled solution developed by 3i Infotech and Intermec. The result is a paperless eCitation system that enables San Jose police officers to connect to the city court’s database via the handheld computers after docking the device at the end of a shift. With the CN3’s Bluetooth wireless technology, officers are also able to connect wirelessly to mobile printers and print tickets in real time.
Now, when citizens are pulled over for a traffic violation, the arresting officer simply swipes the violator’s driver’s license to record the driver’s personal information. The officer then identifies additional details regarding the citation using the CN3’s touch screen. Drivers sign the ticket on the screen or on a printed hard copy. In the first two weeks, 1,000 citations were issued with less than a two percent error rate. SJPD hopes to lower this rate to zero percent.
“The San Jose Police Department can now spend more time on education and enforcement as opposed to citation entry and correction,” said Davis.
Six hundred total SJPD officers will eventually be trained to use the new solution, and as many as 300 officers could be using the solution at any given time in the field. While only 50 Traffic Officers currently use the CN3 units, SJPD plans to deploy units to the entire patrol division in the near future.
“The officers absolutely love it,” said Davis. “They feel it’s a great tool for them to use in the field because it’s quick, efficient and helps eliminate the need for burdensome paperwork.”
Various features of the solution are being deployed in stages. Currently, the SJPD uses it as a device for issuing citations; however, the solution has many additional capabilities that will be deployed at a later date. For example, the SJPD is planning to add in-field fingerprint identification using Cognent’s BlueCheck™ fingerprint reader, which will help eliminate motorists who may be wanted on outstanding warrants from providing false identity. With the success and growing ROI from the first deployment phase, SJPD looks forward to extending their capabilities. In the near future, SJPD anticipates more municipalities will adapt similar solutions so a widespread database can be created, resulting in a more efficient enforcement service and better protection for citizens.