The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is no exception when it comes to cutting red-tape and streamlining process. In a bid to do both, the LAPD made use of new technology and discovered some unexpected benefits along the way.
At the turn of the millennium their traffic citation process was heavily paper based with hand-written forms, notebooks and pencils. However, this forward-thinking US police department made some big changes and, in turn, made life safer for their officers and the public they serve.
Partnering with a local software company, the existing hand-written citations were replaced with an electronic form on a tablet PC. The MPU-L465 ruggedised mobile printer from Seiko Instruments was new to the market at the time and was one of the first to be Bluetooth enabled. Armed with this new technology the officer now completes the citation form very quickly and can send it to the Seiko printer at the touch of a button.
The LAPD enlisted the help of a partner company to write the bespoke software to mimic the paper form and speeded up data entry by using drop-down boxes, keeping free-form text to a minimum. The completed citation form is saved and sent via Bluetooth to the Seiko MPU-L465* in the officer’s vehicle up to 10 metres away. Printed in seconds it is ready and waiting when the officer returns to the motorcycle or patrol car.
Officers are safer as a result of this new process – due to spending less time at the roadside with less distractions – the same goes for the motorist. Prints are clear, consistent and easy to read. Direct thermal printing technology means that each print is as good as the last. There is no ink – the paper is the only consumable. Thermal printers are perfect to use in a vehicle as there are few moving parts, making them extremely reliable.
An added benefit is that the forms are now simultaneously sent directly to the L.A. County Court system; once again saving the officer time on administration.
The combination of software, a tablet device and a Bluetooth enabled mobile printer is being used extensively by Police, Ambulance and Fire services across the globe. Similar systems are also used to print job sheets, collection and delivery notes, shipping manifests and sales receipts in trucks, vans and cars. The mobile and vehicle-based printers from Seiko Instruments and Tally Dascom are ideal for “printing on the move” as the paper is the only consumable – so no ink or toner – meaning they are unaffected by a vehicle’s movement.
- Note: The MPU-L465 rugged mobile Bluetooth printer has since been replaced by the Seiko Instruments MP-A40 model printer.
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