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Mobile Computing Takes A Bite Out Of Crime

With a new mobile citation system, the Sand Springs Police Department has been able to boost revenue from citations by nearly 65%.

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies Magazine

Police work may look glamorous in the movies and on TV, but in reality officers spend a lot of time filling out and filing paperwork. The Sand Springs Police Department in Oklahoma, however, has deployed a mobile citation solution that has eliminated paper forms and duplicate data entry, boosted revenue from more accurate citations, and is expected to provide a five-year return on investment of nearly half a million dollars.

The officers of the 30-man Sand Springs PD (SSPD) do their best to keep the 19,000 residents of this Tulsa suburb safe and secure, but paper citations were bogging down administrative staffers. Three years ago, the department began looking for a way to automate its citation processes. Previously, officers used five-part carbon copy citations that were hand written. The violator would receive one copy, while the rest were distributed to police, court, and city personnel to be key entered into various computer systems.

Manual Methods Ruin Revenue Opportunities

This resulted in redundant data entry, administrative overhead, and mistakes, since citations were sometimes lost. If the citations were illegible, they were often dismissed, which meant the city did not receive revenue due from the related fines.

“There was a lot of duplication of effort,” says Mike Carter, SSPD assistant police chief. “We’ve embraced a philosophy of touching data only once. We really don’t want people inputting data and then having a records clerk duplicating that data. It’s inefficient, and it’s a source of errors when you have that many people touching that data so many times.”

Carter says the department heard about a new electronic citation system called digiTICKET from Saltus Technologies. They approached the company, and after seeing a demonstration the department became a beta test site for the software. The SSPD opted to run the solution on the rugged CN50 mobile computer from Intermec, coupled with a mobile Datamax-O’Neil microFlash 4te (MF4te) printer.

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