20191023_bl_digitalbpd

Bellevue Police officer Shaun Manning demonstrates how to use an electronic fingerprint scanner Oct. 16. The device hooks up to the police cruiser and has helped the department identify inebriated or even deceased people during traffic stops.

New technology has helped the Bellevue Police Department transition toward being energy and time efficient during traffic stops.

With devices such as police cruiser ticket printers and fingerprint scanners, BPD is able to spend less time on paperwork and more time collecting data, said Officer Shaun Manning.

Manning said for the past three years, BPD has moved away from being paper-dependent.

“A state statute says if you’re an agency that writes more than 500 citations a year, you have to do them electronically come Jan. 1, 2020,” he said.

With that deadline approaching, BPD has upgraded almost all police cruisers from the old computers to ones that allow officers to collect data right at a traffic stop.

Manning said the new computers have worked out “in a number of different ways.”

“It saves time roadside because now we’re having a bar code scanner that we scan the driver’s license that will input the data, same with registration,” he said.

The computers also help with crash reports, because the driver’s licenses and registrations are scanned and the location of the crash is input automatically, Manning said.

“Previously, there was a lot of duplication that went into crash reports,” he said. “Now, I can go into the system and scan the person’s information and dump it onto a different form.”

Along with the new computers, BPD will also transition to a new Records Management System called ProPhoenix.

ProPhoenix is a system that allows officers to fill out current handwritten reports, such as case reports and affidavits, by computer.

“ProPhoenix is essentially going to take away the rest of the paper-dependent things we do,” Manning said. “Currently, the only things we fill out electronically are citations, warnings, accidents and reports, tow sheets and other traffic-related documents.”

Manning said the program will send the report to a supervisor to review and approve, then go to the county attorney digitally.

“It will prevent us from having to print things out,” he said. “Hopefully by the end of next year we’ll be 100% paperless.”

Another new addition to the department are two handheld fingerprint scanners, which have helped when a person is inebriated, gives out a fake name or is deceased without an I.D.

“You put both your fingers on and it runs it through the database,” he said. “It’s been super successful for us.”

The data-collecting aspect has helped the department keep track of past traffic violations and notify families of deceased individuals in a quicker amount of time, Manning said.

“And if you’re a victim of a crime and the only thing you can remember is someone’s last name and not their first, we can take that information and run it through our database,” he said.

Manning said the biggest benefits to new digital technology has been the time and money saved during stops.

“You’re saving money buying printed documents and getting officers off the roadside quicker,” he said. “It helps to be able to police when you need to, provide services and investigate.”

Moving forward, Manning hopes to introduce automatic license plates readers on some police cruisers, which will help identify stolen vehicles and Amber Alerts.

“There’s tons of cars out there that are stolen or something wrong with them that we just don’t know about because we don’t run every plate,” he said.

Manning said the new technologies have helped the department be more efficient during traffic stops.

“We’ve come a long way,” he said. “Everything is moving toward paperless and more data-driven.”

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