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Back to Archives | Back to October 2011 Contents 

October 2011

Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about—and benefit from—some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Police Department Partners with Saltus Technologies to Issue Automated Citations

An independent study was conducted by the Economic Impact Group (EIG), a consulting firm dedicated to providing technical economic analysis to the private and the public sectors. As police departments look for ways to become safer and more efficient, digital systems that automate and simplify the ticket delivery process are becoming an attractive option. Such is the case for the Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Police Department’s March 2009 implementation of the digiTICKET automated citation delivery system in partnership with Saltus Technologies.

DigiTICKET is an electronic ticketing system designed to maximize efficiency, reduce errors, and increase safety for law enforcement officers. Saltus created digiTICKET with the help of Oklahoma law enforcement officials and court representatives. It is currently in use by agencies in seven states throughout the United States.

Following a graduated procurement and implementation schedule at the Sand Springs Police Department, the entire delivery and setup phase was completed from March through December 2009. Outfitting a total of 21 officers, the system measurably increased the average productivity of the officers and the efficiency of citation processing. Over a two-year period, the city saw an increase in the net citation and court cost revenue of more than 63 percent. It also benefitted from the reduction in direct salary attributable to administrative entry of nearly $8,500 per year. During the same time, EIG estimates that the reduction in traffic accidents will lead to an additional $2 million in reduced societal costs. The digiTICKET system provides significant value to the city—with an estimated value of net benefits for the system to total close to $500,000 over a five-year period.

“We could not be more pleased with the results of implementing this technology within our department,” said Sand Springs Assistant Police Chief Mike Carter. “In simple terms, it’s like adding several more patrol officers with no cost increase.”

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Police Department Uses Spillman Technologies following Tornado

In the aftermath of a severe April 2011 tornado, the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Police department relied on software from Spillman Technologies to find locations within the damaged city, communicate while cell service was unavailable, and track missing people as they were reported by friends and family.

One of the largest tornado outbreaks in history, known as the 2011 Super Outbreak, hit the southeastern United States in late April 2011. On April 27, one of these tornadoes cut a 1.5-mile wide swath of destruction through Tuscaloosa, damaging trees and ripping homes from their foundations.

The police department used Spillman Technologies’ mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software to track the tornado’s path through the city. Using Spillman’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) mapping and pin mapping modules, officers were able to map the location of damaged properties, pinpoint search and rescue areas, and designate traffic check points at major intersections and neighborhood entrances, said Tuscaloosa Police Department Captain Jeff Hartley. The department also used Spillman to track the location of Tuscaloosa police officers and firefighters as they responded to calls throughout the damaged city, Hartley said, and to determine where additional personnel were needed.

After the tornado, many firefighters and police officers were searching for locations without the benefit of lights or electricity. Personnel instead relied on Spillman’s GIS mapping software to locate addresses where there were no street signs, no visible house numbers, or no way of identifying or finding specific locations.

“This speeded up our responses to critical calls for service that would have been slowed or simply impossible to locate without an accurate mapping program,” Hartley said.

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Oregon Becomes Fifth U.S. Police Agency to Select Niche Technology Records Management System

The Oregon State Police (OSP) has chosen Niche Technology to provide its new record management system (RMS), becoming the fifth U.S. agency to do so.

The OSP joins the Springfield, Missouri, Police Department; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; the U.S. Department of the Interior; and Alaska’s Department of Public Safety in adopting the world’s leading police information management system.

“It’s time for [the OSP] to enjoy the benefits of technology that has been available for many years, helping to improve officer safety and investigations while making significant improvements to our business procedures,” said OSP Superintendent Chris Brown.

More than 700 sworn state troopers will use the system, and all sworn and essential nonsworn OSP employees will receive extensive training in the Niche RMS.

The new Niche system is part of a series of OSP technology and business transformations falling under the agency’s Integrated Business Operations and Technology Transformation (IBOTT) program. Key team members supporting the Niche project include Chief Information Officer Albert Gauthier and Committee Chair Major Maureen Bedell.

“When thinking about how technological advancements have changed the way we work, we can envision exciting improvements that will make us a better organization and public safety partner,” said Major Bedell.

The OSP intends to capitalize on all aspects of the Niche RMS system, especially data analysis and reporting and intelligence gathering, and anticipates officially launching the system by September 2012. Benefits the OSP expects from the new system include safer and better informed troopers, as well as more secure and reliable information systems.

The system is intended to streamline the flow of information through the department and allow it to connect to other public safety information systems. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 10, October 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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