Police receive electronic ticketing, printing system

December 31, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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In early December, officers of the Newcastle Police Department received an electronic ticketing and printing system known as SECTOR, Statewide Electronic Collision and Tickets Online Records.

By Tim Pfarr SECTOR includes a scanner that allows officers to automatically collect information from a driver’s license or vehicle registration. By Tim Pfarr

By Tim Pfarr SECTOR includes a scanner that allows officers to automatically collect information from a driver’s license or vehicle registration. By Tim Pfarr

The system consists of a computer program, a barcode scanner and a portable printer.

Now, instead of hand-writing tickets, officers can scan drivers’ licenses and registrations and enter information about a traffic stop digitally by typing information into the system. Finally, the printer allows officers to print tickets at the site.

“To me, it’s a basic piece of equipment that should be used everywhere,” Newcastle Officer Gavin Anderson said.

However, SECTOR is at its best when it is used to help collision investigations, Police Chief Melinda Irvine said.

“One of the greatest things about it is how quickly we can clear an accident scene,” she said.

As with traffic stops, officers can scan licenses and registrations as part of a collision investigation, but they can also use the program to quickly and neatly diagram how a collision occurred, which they had previously had to do by hand.

“It really improves the process,” Anderson said.

Newcastle Police received SECTOR as part of a grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Newcastle has the system in three of its patrol cars, but plans are to add SECTOR to other cars in the future.

The Washington State Patrol has used SECTOR for several years. The SeaTac, Burien and Maple Valley police departments use the system as well.

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