The Independence Police Department is applying for a state grant that would allow officers to do e-ticketing.
The grant, courtesy of the Highway Safety and Traffic Division of the Missouri Department of Transportation, is for nearly $88,000.
The grant would allow IPD to have e-ticketing with the 20 patrol vehicles in its traffic unit. Chief of Police Brad Halsey said about 75 percent of the tickets issued by his department come from officers on the traffic unit.
“We'll have small recurring costs, but we'll also have some efficiencies,” he said.
With e-ticketing, officers are able to swipe or scan a driver's license and electronically complete their citations. When a citation is completed, the information is directly uploaded to a program also accessible by the municipal court clerk.
Ideally, it reduces the officer's time spent issuing a citation – not to mention standing on a roadside – and both police and the court filing in repetitive information. Also, clerks don't have to read all the handwritten tickets.
“This can be time-consuming, especially when issuing multiple citations,” Halsey said.
Halsey said many other departments have implemented e-ticketing. Kansas City officers, for example, started issuing e-tickets in 2011.
“We're just little behind the curve with this specific technology,” he said.
If IPD receives the grant money, it hopes to have the e-ticketing technology purchased and in use by January 2020.
WATER AWARD: Independence's water again ranks among the world's best, as the city was named the third-best municipal water at the recent 29th-annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition. More than 100 entries from five continents were part of the competition.
Independence has placed in the top five all but once in the past eight years, including a silver medal in 2013. This year marked the third bronze award for Independence. The silver ranks behind the Best in the World and Best in the U.S. awards.