Cottageville police install new e-ticket system in cruisers

COTTAGEVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Cottageville Police Chief Shane Roberts said the department's new electronic ticket system streamlines the process of issuing a citation with laptop computers and even printers in every cruiser.

For police and people behind the wheel it eliminates confusion. "It's typed so it's clear and concise there's no way of misunderstanding court dates, court times, officer names," said Roberts.

Gone are the days of four differently-colored carbon copies that need to be distributed. This information is transferred with the push of a button.

"The courts are able to reduce the amount of time it takes to input the tickets so they can be more efficient," said Roberts. It also increases accountability since every ticket is tracked.

The General Assembly passed legislation a few years ago permitting departments to use this technology but Cottageville is one of the first departments to put it in place. Roberts says that's because their department is small and it's easier to put it in just a few cruisers.

"With Charleston city or county you're looking at 100 cars and the expense is a lot higher," said Roberts.

Even for this small department the system wasn't cheap.

"Vendors called and the best price I got to outfit our system was between $25,000-30,000," said Roberts.

That is way out of their budget range, so Roberts shopped around, bought surplus computers and put it in place for $2,000, cutting the cost by 90 percent.

"It is kind of going into the future, Cottageville is still on the ground floor with this here. Without a doubt 5-10 years from now this will be the standard way its done," said Roberts.

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