Thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety the Wrens Police Department has mounted 11 laptop computers and printers in its patrol vehicles.
“It was something the department was working on before I got here, but I jumped on it immediately because I know the benefits of having that kind of technology,” said Chief John Maynard.
The new equipment helps shorten the time both officers and motorists spend roadside during traffic stops, making these stops both safer and more efficient. With the computers officers can run tag numbers, vehicle registration information and driver’s license information.
“They can actually see a photo and that’s a big deal, because as we know, not everybody tells the truth,” Maynard said. “You’re actually able to see who you’re dealing with and tell if they have any active warrants. The knowledge base is in the officer’s favor. With the computer you’re not walking in blind. You know if they have insurance, you know if the tag is good. It gives you an edge.”
Officers at traffic stops are able to spend more time with their eyes up and on the situation at hand instead of looking down at a citation pad. The computers will import data into reports so that the officer does not have to write down every single detail.
“There are so many benefits of having them,” Maynard said. “They can work crashes and do diagrams from their cars, they can do reports from their cars if they want to and it syncs with the Cloud.”
The chief said his officers work traffic in order to keep the streets safe, adding that they issue a lot more warnings than citations.
“It’s all about compliance and reminding people to slow down,” Maynard said. “This system will allow us to track warnings as well. It’ll show that they have received previous warnings as well within this jurisdiction and sometimes in other areas if those departments share their information.”
When citations are necessary, the printers in the vehicles will allow officers to produce official citations on the spot.
“We are grateful to have been selected as a recipient of this $10,000 technology grant,” Maynard said. “The Wrens Police Department is dedicated to the protection of all we serve. We provide exceptional law enforcement services by recruiting qualified and professionally trained peace officers who are also free from prejudice. We will operate with integrity and respect while conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain public trust. We will safeguard our community’s reputation as a safe place to live, work, and visit.”