The Sterlington Police Department is putting newly acquired technology into its day-to-day functions.
Police Chief Barry Bonner said the new technology, such as the e-citation ticket writer, makes policing more efficient and safer for the officers.
“An officer can now take a license and scan it, instead of having to type in all the information,” he said. “Once the license is scanned all the individual's information pops up on the screen. It comes with a printer too that will print the ticket up.”
Captain Jerre Hurst (also the Information Technology director for the equipment) said the most important feature of this equipment is officer safety.
“I wrote up a ticket the other day in a minute and a half,” he said. “It is safer for the officers because they don't have to stand on the side of the road as long as they would if they had to handwrite or type everything.”
Bonner said the e-citation ticket can even take photos while the officer is scanning the ticket and record audio for up to 20 seconds.
The police department also recently received 700 Band radios from Homeland Security that has a transmission that is capable of reaching anywhere in the state in case of a catastrophe.
“I could be in New Orleans, for example, and talk to someone on this radio in Sterlington, and they could respond immediately,” Bonner said. “When Katrina occurred one of the problems was communication. Now that won't be a problem for us. Everyone is on the same channel, from the fire department to the state police.”
Another technological advancement in place is the Louisiana Crash Statewide Accident Reporting System, Bonner said.
“Accident reports used to be handwritten,” he said. “Now it is done immediately and the individual needing the report can promptly pick up a copy at Town Hall or download one off the website. It is error proof as well.”
To pay for all the equipment and technology, Mayor Vern Breland sought and obtained through the Louisiana legislation a $10 technology fee to be added in court costs, Bonner said.
“The mayor and the council has diligently pursued this technology that allows us to perform our jobs more safely, easily and efficiently,” he said.