Officers issuing more tickets after getting new software

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Ted Sullivan
Saturday, April 3, 2010
— Janesville police are issuing twice as many citations thanks to new software to type and print electronic tickets in their patrol cars.

BadgerTraCS software saves officers time because they no longer have to handwrite tickets, accident reports and drunken driving paperwork, officer Steve Carpenter said. The data also replicates itself to issue multiple tickets in seconds.

Officers now can issue citations in less than half the time, and they are taking advantage of it, Carpenter said. Tickets have doubled since the software went live in February.

Officers spend less time on traffic stops, and they can be more proactive on patrol, he said. Less time on the side of the road also keeps officers safer.

Carpenter began integrating the software in November. He has been training officers how to use it. A state grant paid for the project.

Officers have the software on laptops in their patrol cars. The vehicles also have printers.

The software is a step toward the goal of bringing the officer's desk to the squad car, Carpenter said.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation wants every agency in the state to use the program to track traffic data statewide. Law enforcement agencies began using the software in 2005. Other departments in Rock and Walworth counties also use BadgerTraCS.

The software also saves time at the Rock County Clerk of Courts Office.

Janet Verba, deputy clerk of courts, said she used to input each paper ticket into a computer program to create a court file.

She said it was time consuming and difficult to read the handwriting. Four clerks spent eight hours a week importing citations.

Now, Verba can do it with a few clicks of a button.

"It is a lot faster," she said. "It takes me minutes."

The police department will have an easier time tracking citation and accident data with the software, Carpenter said. The data could be useful in analyzing crash stats or crime trends.

Officers have had a smooth transition adapting to the new technology, Carpenter said.

"There were some early frustrations, but they were quickly removed," he said. "It's nothing a 20-year officer hasn't done before; it's just in a different format."

Last updated: 1:42 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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