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Police Fleet Outfitted With E-Citation Systems

SANATOGA PA – Hand-written traffic tickets are on their way to history in Lower Pottsgrove.

Four township Police Department patrol vehicles are the first in its fleet to be outfitted with equipment that allows officers to electronically print and file traffic citations. The new technology is saving time and labor costs, and enhancing officers’ safety, according to a report from police Chief Michael Foltz to the township Board of Commissioners.

The computerized “e-citation” systems are equipped with card readers, printers, and in-car cameras. Officers can use a camera to capture a license plate image, and a scanner to capture a driver’s license bar code, add offense information on a keyboard, generate a printed citation with relevant driver and vehicle data, and wirelessly file it with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Foltz said.

As a ticket is being hand-delivered by an officer to a driver, it’s also electronically filed on computers that serve local Magisterial District Justice offices and state records.

“This eliminates the need for a police clerk and court clerks to manually enter the information when an officer issues citations, and also minimizes the time an officer spends on a roadside stop,” the chief explained. It also adds to “officers’ safety by getting them off the roadway in less time,” he added.

There’s another benefit, mentioned by Foltz with a wry smile during the board’s June 8 meeting: it eliminates having to read and interpret officers’ handwriting. Some of their scrawls, even if printed, can be “difficult,” he joked.

All marked vehicles in the fleet should be outfitted with the systems by the end of 2017, at a cost of about $1,000 per vehicle. The expense was included in this year’s township budget, Foltz noted, and a portion of the cost is being covered by a matching grant the department received from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Related to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ June 8 meeting:

Photo by The Post Publications

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