Police traffic tickets go ‘e’
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Apr 30, 2014 | 1128 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Bishop
David Bishop

Traffic tickets are about to change in the city of Cleveland, with tickets being completed electronically and printed at the scene of the incident.

The Cleveland City Council approved authorizing Mayor Tom Rowland to sign a contract with DataDriven, LLC Watson Field Reporting Suite during its voting session earlier this week.

The cost of the new e-ticket system, including equipment, has been estimated at $86,315. Cleveland Police Department chief David Bishop said the system will save time. In a previous meeting, Capt. Dennis Maddox said the system has the potential to eliminate the need for laptops in patrol cars.

Bishop said the software was chosen over a second company with similar services because it combines five tasks and reduces the amount of multitasking officers must do.

“The Watson Field Reporting — it is basically a new way of issuing citations, where everything is done electronically on the scene,” Bishop said in a previous meeting. “They would be able to scan the driver’s license and it would give them all of the information that they needed for the citation. It would also run ... a local records check to see if they had any outstanding warrants.”

Officers will have a small printer in their car, which will print out tickets created on a smartphone. The software keeps frequently used information stored to allow officers to create tickets more quickly.

According to a product description included in the City Council packet, the software will also reduce time by filling in driver and vehicle information based on a simple search on the driver/vehicle.

“Information on the location tab is purposefully not cleared between tickets, allowing multiple tickets to be written from a single location without re-keying data. Locations/addresses can be saved and reused with the "Add Favorites" option. Speed limit and speed zone type are automatically selected when a favorite location is selected. Court date and time are automatically selected based on [the] first available date that falls within the required parameters,” according to a description of the product provided to the City Council.

Bishop said the Watson Field Reporting Suite also could also work in conjunction with court management software to provide a smoother way to generate court dockets.

The contract would be for the entire suite, not just e-ticketing, giving officers access to crime data through their cellphones. New, larger cellphones will be issued as part of the switch to the new service.

The company will also provide training for use of the new system.

Updates to the software will be given as part of the cellphone contract.

The system also requires a computer to function as the data server.

Bishop said he plans to have the new system in place by Sept. 1.

Also during the meeting, the City Council approved a handful of additional items, including:

n Creating an Inman Street East Zoning District designed for the eastern portion of Inman Street. Applying the zoning will be done at a later date.

n Selling scrap material from Waterville irrigation project as surplus property on GovDeals.com.

n Submitting a Bulletproof Vest Grant for $40,000 with a 50/50 match required.