Cracking Down With New Technology

Valdosta police have become the latest to install a new ticket printing system into their patrol cars. Officers say they are a major help and they are just the first step of major innovations expected this year.

For months, Valdosta police officers have enjoyed the benefits of using the modern "mobile data terminals" to help provide them with the latest information on suspects or crime.

Now, the officers are enjoying another helpful tool, an automatic ticket writing system.

"All the information connected to the vehicle or connected with the driver's license will be transferred onto a ticket, an official Georgia uniform citation. They can simply drop a citation into the printer and hit print," said CAPT Brian Childress.

Patrolmen who've already gotten to use the system say it frees them from wasting time writing a ticket out by hand, letting them focus on the situation at hand.

"That way, when I exit my vehicle, I can keep my eye in the vehicle and the occupants and not so much on my computer," said patrolman Thomas Luke.

But this ticket printing system will not be the last innovation for Valdosta's finest. Soon, the video cameras in 62 patrol cars will be connected to a tapeless, digital recording system.

"Instead of officers having to transfer their video to a tape, it goes straight to a computer server back at headquarters reducing the cost for tapes and the information is quickly downloaded and can be easily accessed," added Childress.

The best part for Valdosta taxpayers is most of these tools are paid through federal grants.