When you have officers in the streets, reducing the time it takes them for common administrative tasks keeps them free to fully serve the public. Issuing tickets is a necessary task, but paper-based citations end up being costly and time-consuming for government agencies. With an E-Citation solution, a ticket can be easily and accurately issued in record time – often under a minute. Citation information is then sent to headquarters in real-time letting the officer get back to protecting the public.
Law enforcement personnel can enter and verify data quickly in the field with the right software, mobile computer and printer, eliminating the typical manual paper and pen processes. The reduction in manual paperwork decreases clerical errors that lead to unenforceable citations and let officers focus more on their environments, not paperwork. Improve safety, enforceability and efficiency with an electronic citation system that is easy to use and tough to beat.
What are the Key Benefits of an E-Citation System?
An electronic citation system saves time and costs for any agency through the benefits of:
- Productivity – Spend less time on manual tasks to increase workforce productivity.
- Cost-efficiency – Eliminate paperwork and dismissed tickets caused by manual errors.
- Real-Time Information – Send information seamlessly and automatically to a headquarters database.
- Efficiency – Cut down the time spent issuing citations in half with added accuracy.
What is E-Citation?
Historically, officers have used paper forms and a pen to issue citations in the field. While this may have been the most feasible solution at one time, it has come to be more of a burden than anything. Any time you are dealing with hand written paperwork of any type you run into issues with accuracy, legibility and redundancy. Writing a citation manually opens the door for mistakes to be made. Incorrectly filling out the form and unreadable handwriting are the most common cause for citations being dismissed in court. It is estimated that with a manual paper system up to 40% of citations are lost due to these inaccuracies. Add to this, once a citation is issued the officer and staff are still stuck with re-entering the information into their records and case management systems. Migrating to an electronic citation system is a simple yet direct solution to all the problems found in a paper based system.
Law enforcement agencies are constantly being asked to “do more with less” and an E-citation system helps make this possible, no matter the size of the enforcement organization. Instead of the traditional pen and paper system you can conduct the whole citation process with a mobile computer and portable printer. When you utilize an electronic system you immediately reduce the time it takes to complete a citation. Every driver’s license has information that needs to be recorded for the citation which is also embedded in a barcode on the back of the license. Through a simple scan on the mobile computer you can immediately capture all this information that previously had to be manual written out. The E-Citation software will also guide the officer through all the other steps of the citation with simple check or dropdown boxes they can access with the touchscreen of the mobile computer. Once all the information is completed, the software will confirm that the citation was completed correctly and then print out a copy of the ticket. These simple changes to the citation process reduce the time it takes to complete one from several minutes to about a minute or less. Plus, you gain the assurance that every citation is completed accurately and without errors.
An E-Citation system obviously drastically reduces the time and errors when issuing the citation but also offers the benefit of real-time updating of citation information. When all the data is collected on a mobile computer you can transmit this electronically to other systems. This step prevents additional paperwork and greatly improves the accuracy of records by eliminating manual entry into both the law enforcement’s records management system (RMS) and the court’s case management system (CMS). Once a citation is created and completed in the field it can be updated into your RMS system immediately without any additional need for your already stretched resources.
Another advantage of an E-Citation system that is often overlooked is the added safety it provides officers in the field. It is well known that the more an officer is out of their vehicle you are increasing the possibility for them to be injured. A well implemented E-Citation solution allows the officer to be less distracted and spend less time outside their vehicle. Saving time for your officers in the field keeps them safer and able to spend their time protecting the public.
What Should You Address When Making an E-Citation System?
When putting together an effective and suitable E-Citation system there are a few key questions to answer:
- How many users will you have at one time?
- Do you need to transmit citation information in real-time?
- Will you need to print receipts in the field? Capture signatures?
- Do you need to take pictures?
- Will you scan the barcodes from the back of driver’s licenses?
- What type of reporting will you need from the system?
- Do you want to take payment for citations in the field?
- Will you need to integrate with other accounting or tracking systems?
What are the Components of an E-Citation System?
All E-Citation systems consist of 3 core components:
- E-Citation Software – Software is the backbone of any system and will determine what features and options are available. The main concerns when deciding on software are how detailed available reporting is, whether it supports batch or real-time updates and if it supports your internal systems.
- Mobile Computer – Citations occur in the field and you need a device that can provide the performance of a PC with the ruggedness to handle any environment. The mobile computer will be the central tool to create and edit citations, scan driver’s licenses and even process payments.
- Portable Printer – In any offence, a ticket needs to be issued on site. A portable printer will offer high quality print that is hassle free and quick. Whether it is the citation itself or a receipt, a portable printer will drastically save time when compared to hand writing citations.