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N.J. Township Considers Cruiser E-Ticketing System


The Hamilton Township Police Department hopes to upgrade its technology so that tickets issued to motorists would be instantly entered into the Municipal Court's computer system.

The Township Committee is expected to vote to purchase software from ProPhoenix Corp. in Moorestown, Burlington County, during its meeting Tuesday. The township set aside $400,000 for the purchase, which will include buying printers for patrol cars, maintenance and software upgrades, township Administrator Mike Jacobs said.

Under the new program, police officers would be able to write tickets electronically on a handheld device, said Lt. Paul Sorrentino, a support division commander for the Police Department. Then, they would print out the tickets in their cars and issue them to motorists, he said.

The violation would be sent instantly to the Municipal Court and police records database, which is more efficient than staff manually inputting the information, Sorrentino said.

"It definitely makes the system a lot more efficient," he said. "It takes a lot of time for them to input that data."

The new system will be easier because officers would not have to handwrite a note or issue a second ticket if there is more than one charge, Jacobs said. Residents also would be able to pay their bills quicker, he said.

If approved Tuesday, township officials hope it could be in place by the end of the year.

Sorrentino expects the system to be used predominately for traffic violations, in the beginning. It could be used in the future for other types of violations, such as excessive noise or being out after curfew, he said.

"It's the concept of doing more with less," he said. "It helps everyone in the township work better together."

The township laid off 13 police officers last year in a bid to fill a $2.4 million budget shortfall.

Mayor Roger Silva said the township has wanted to enact the system for a few years but was waiting to find the right program. Compared to other companies ProPhoenix will save the township $400,000 over the next five years, he said.

The Ocean City Police Department has an e-ticketing system, and Egg Harbor Township is working on a similar system.

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