Pacific police may soon end the practice of standing outside vehicles stopped for traffic violations and handwriting traffic tickets.
A new computer program will enable officers to stay in their car to enter vehicle information into a computer that is connected to city hall where traffic tickets will be printed.
The information will become part of the court record, which will free the court clerk from entering the tickets in the computer.
City Administrator Harold Selby explained the new system at the May 7 board of aldermen meeting.
Selby said the program was identified as he made plans to eliminate much of the paper stored at city hall by scanning police records.
Karen Dozier, city records clerk, researched the cost of scanning traffic tickets to reduce the mountains of paper records that are kept at city hall. She identified a program that would cost approximately $26,000.
“If every day we make more paper records that need to be scanned we’re digging a bigger hole,” Selby said. “We looked at what other departments are doing.
“The way it is now, the officer hand-writes a ticket. If there are multiple charges that means multiple tickets,” he explained. “The officer sends the tickets to the court clerk who enters them into a computer.”
With this new system, the officer can enter information from his or her patrol car and scan the driver’s license. The information is sent electronically to the court clerk, who prints out the ticket. The same practice is used with accident reports.
“We’ll save $700 just by not buying the blank tickets,” Selby said. “And there’s the safety factor of the officer not standing on the roadside hand-writing tickets. The computer entries can be done in 30 seconds.”
Selby said the new program is not expensive and he will put that in next year’s budget.