Suwanee to start issuing e-tickets

SUWANEE - The Suwanee Police Department is taking advantage of some new technology and is no longer issuing handwritten traffic citations.

The department has upgraded its computer software, allowing officers to quickly create electronically generated tickets on scene.

With laptops, scanners and printers now located inside 24 of the city's officers' patrol vehicles, police can utilize their new public safety software and generate a ticket in roughly less than a minute.

"Before we were issuing the standard five-part handwritten ticket," said department Patrol Commander Lt. Cass Mooney. "Now when we run vehicle information in the car, you click for a citation and it puts it in citation format and the officer enters the offense, location and court date and clicks print."

Mooney described the new tickets' appearance as similar to a store receipt, printed on slick, thermal paper.

The software not only allows officers to print their tickets, but enables them to run vehicle tag information through a wireless connection to the Georgia Criminal Information Center, checking information such as criminal history and possible warrants. Driver's licenses can also be scanned on scene using the new program.

Mooney said one of the key factors of the new system is officer safety. He said the speediness of the system allows officers to quickly create multiple tickets if need be and get officers on to other calls.

In addition, steps are cut from the paper shuffle of the old system.

Once having to pass through five sets of hands and being entered into multiple court and records systems, now the information is automatically sent to the required destination.

Mooney said the new software also creates a more efficient work force, giving officers the ability to scan photos of a possible missing or wanted person and send the information to each officer's patrol car laptop.

"Within 10 minutes every patrol car in the city of Suwanee can have that picture," Mooney said. "That's the kind of things that excite me, being able to do this kind of thing."

Mooney said it took officers a short time to get use to using the new system.

"Nobody likes change - we're all human," Mooney said. "I heard some complaints that this is too hard or they like the old system. But now when someone's laptop goes down, that's the first call I get. Now they act like they can't live without it."