Midland Police to Start Using Electronic Ticket Writers

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND--The system cost more than $40,000, but will make things easier for officers and court officials.

There are plenty of perks that go along with these high tech toys, but maybe the most important one, the added safety for the officers using them.

"It eliminates their exposure, especially when they are working on the highway and have to worry about getting hit by cars," Sgt. Kyle Sullivan, with the Midland Police Department, said.

An average traffic stop, normally takes around 20 minutes, if everything's in order. But soon, with just a swipe of your license, Midland Police could send you on your way much faster.

"There's officers, that are utilizing these in the Metroplex, that are able to, from the time they get out of the car to the time they are done with the stop, be done in less than a minute and a half," Sullivan explained.

The electronic ticket writer is a tool the Midland Police Department has been considering for some time. Sgt. Sullivan explained how they work, "They'll go through the process of selecting the violation then get the signature of the officer and the person receiving the ticket and it will be issued.  There is a small printer and the person who receives the citation will get a printed copy of the citation."

Sullivan added, it cuts down on paperwork for officers too, "It's going to help, as far as getting the information over to the court, because it's going to be downloaded now.  You won't have to have problems with people writing illegibly."

Matt Mentemeier works for Brazos Technology, the company that supplies the ticket writers, "I was actually a Dallas-Ft. Worth officer.  I actually used the device for almost 4 years and on first hand knowledge, it actually decreases the amount of time on a stop so that increases the safety for the officer."

Mentemeier says, because of the benefits, over 100 agencies across Texas are using the ticket writers they provide, "Average stops decrease greatly, when they go to electronic versus paper, because they are able to be more efficient and effective, versus the paper citation.  Not only does the citation become more legible for the administrator, for the court, but for the violators as well."

There's also another benefit.

According to Mentemeier, "It's the wave of the future.  Everyone is trying to go green nowadays.  This is one of those steps that those agencies are taking to go green."

The ticket writers were bought with the department's drug seizure money. Police Chief Price Robinson says they now have the basic set up they need, if they want to add more units in the future.