Marana police officers will be getting equipment upgrades in their patrol cars thanks to a $35,000 state funded grant.
The grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will pay for new scanners and printers for officers to document traffic citations, according to a news release from the town.
The grant will also fund a new software called Traffic and Criminal Software, or TraCS, that will make traffic reporting more efficient and organized, the release said.
“Right now, officers have to type the (driver’s) information in manually,” Sgt. Jose Alvarez, a Marana Police Department spokesman, said. “Errors occur. There’s wrong phone numbers, or they’ve transposed a number. So, when we’re allowed to scan drivers’ license and registration, that information’s automatically imported into our software.”
Citations can be electronically stored and then sent to the Arizona Department of Transportation, a process that is currently done on paper. The new system will save time, money and resources for all of the department, Alvarez said.
“We’re putting our resources where the data says. If we look at the numbers of where the collisions are occurring, then we can direct our resources to the problems that are causing the collisions in the specific area,” Alvarez said. “If we have more accurate data and we’re able to deploy our resources more efficient, we’re actually trying to combat the issues that are causing the accident.”
The promise of increased productivity also means that officers will be spending less time roadside, and so their risk of secondary traffic accidents decreases.
The current systems cost $21,000 a year to maintain. The grant will allow Marana police to install the new hardware and TraCS system for free.
ADOT is helping Marana police with the implementation and transition process, which Alvarez says he hopes will be completed by the end of this year.