The next time you’re pulled over by a police officer in Oro Valley for a traffic infraction, or (we hope not) have an auto accident in the town, your situation probably will be handled by an officer equipped with the latest ticketing and crash reporting.
The Oro Valley Police Department is now beta testing on iPad Minis new eTicket and eCrash reporting systems developed by the homegrown Oro Valley company, Thin Blue Line Reporting.
The two systems use the iPad Minis iOS operating system platform electronically to take and store data much faster than an officer could input the material manually.
Oro Valley Police Lieutenant Chris Olson, who is in charge of implementing the programs, said that the eTicket program is designed to cut down on the time involved in traffic stops for both police officers and civilians. He said after training was completed, the two systems were rolled out into the field with motor officers last week.
“When we have a traffic accident, we want to get the collision off the roadway as quickly as possible so we can prevent secondary collisions,” Olson said. “With an accident, there’s a lot of rubbernecking and traffic congestion, so we want to clear the accident as fast as we can. The eCrash program allows us to do that.”
Olson said the iPad Mini has a bar code scanner on it that can scan a driver’s license and vehicle registration into the unit and populate that information onto a data report, for both the eTicket and the eCrash programs.
“The iPad Mini allows us to take photos of a crash scene with the same device that we use to make the report,” Olson observed. “If we have to interview someone or take statements from people, the iPad Mini has the ability to record. We anticipate the system will be much quicker than doing the same reporting manually.”
Jacob Rhoads, director of business development for Thin Blue Line Reporting, said police officers can use a secure WiFi printer that attaches to the iPad Mini to print out a citation for a citizen on the spot of the infraction. He added that reports also can be printed out back at the police station.
Rhoads said that Oro Valley Police have purchased the warning, ticket, crash and incident reporting modules that his company has developed. He noted that Oro Valley’s use is the first time the software has been deployed in the United States. Thin Blue Line Reporting currently is negotiating for use of its software by other law enforcement agencies in Arizona, Oregon and Idaho, he said.
“Oro Valley Police’s motorcycle unit has seven licenses for their motor officers and seven licenses for their records division and processing department,” Rhodes said.
Olson confirmed the purchase. “We purchased seven units for our motor officers and pay a service fee to Thin Blue Line Reporting for the use of the proprietary software,” he said. “Once the systems are up and running, there’s an annual licensing fee for the software.”
“We think the eCrash system will cut the time in half that an officer spends for a non-injury traffic collision,” Olson said. “For a traffic infraction stop, which typically lasts about 10 minutes, we think the eTicket program will allow us to reduce that stop to about 5 minutes.”
Olson said that he expects the beta testing to last about four weeks.
(Editor's Note: Thin Blue Line Reporting is no longer an Arizona-based company.)