HATTIESBURG, Miss – About a week ago, the Hattiesburg Police Department hit a monumental stride with a boost in technology.
It’s one that can only be witnessed if blue lights appear in the rear view mirror.
The next time you get pulled over by a HPD motorcycle officer, you’ll get an electronic citation. HPD is the first department in the state to equip its motorcycle units with the ability to print tickets instantly.
Lieutenant Jon Traxler said the department is moving away from the carbon copy paper, “When the violator gets their copy, they cannot read what the charge was, who their officer was, the court date; those types of things because they were writing through carbon paper.”
It’s only a few simple steps for the traffic division. First the officer will scan the violator’s driver’s license and their personal information is transferred into the e-citation system.
Lieutenant Harris Tapp of the traffic division continues, “And then you just enter the vehicle information. Once you enter the vehicle information you can replicate all the information. If you have another citation to issue, you can replicate all that information.” Meaning an officer isn’t required to write each citation and rewrite driver information if multiple tickets are issued.
After assigning a charge, the officer prints the ticket, saving time and money since the department is using thermal printers.This allows the traffic division to be more efficient and continue with other duties.
According to Lt. Traxler, paper work has been cut to a minimum. In the past, carbon copies were distributed to the state, court system, officer, and violator. Now, it’s electronically transferred, “My record will be on the system itself. The court, it’ll be uploaded to them so until they go to trial, they don’t have to print anything out.”
Lt. Tapp said he’s issued a few citations with the new system but no one has noticed the changed, “Nobody has asked me about the piece of paper I give them.”
However, for the officers, it’s an upgrade that’s greatly appreciated.
According to Traxler, the cost for each e-citation system is $3,100. It’s unclear at this time when the entire department will upgrade.