published Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Cleveland to adopt smartphone ticketing

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    Cleveland Police Chief David Bishop
    Photo by Paul Leach.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Smartphone technology will simplify the traffic citation process for Cleveland police officers in the near future.

The Cleveland City Council recently voted 7-0 to authorize a $62,125 contract with Data Driven, which will provide 99 mobile phones and printer devices, software licensing and technical support that will enable officers to issue tickets with a few button clicks.

The department has made "great strides" in regard to the delivery, equipping and training schedule for the wireless e-ticketing system, Cleveland Police Chief David Bishop said.

"We are saying that we will have it up and running by early fall," he said.

In January, the Cleveland City Council authorized the police department to pursue the adoption of the e-ticketing system.

The wireless handheld technology enables a police officer to scan driver's licenses, access driver and vehicle data and even check for outstanding warrants, according to Bishop.

Capt. Dennis Maddux said that, with the adoption of the wireless handheld system, an officer will spend less time making trips back and forth between a stopped motorist's vehicle and his own.

E-ticketing "will probably cut our officers' downtime for writing a citation by two-thirds," he said.

Paper costs also are expected to be reduced, Maddux said.

In the future, Cleveland Police Department officials will consider whether to adopt software that allows its officers to make crash and arrest reports and conduct field interviews with the new technology, he said.

Ultimately, handheld technology could lead to the elimination of police vehicle laptops if it can provide for all of an officer's data access and document production needs, Maddux said.

Now, it costs between $1,200 and $1,300 to equip each police vehicle with a laptop, he said.

Maddux also cited discussions with Johnson City Police Department officials, who said they would never go back to vehicle laptops after they adopted the full suite of handheld reporting tools.

Councilman George Poe said he could attest to the efficiency and speed of the handheld devices, having received an e-ticket while traveling in Georgia.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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