and Saving Lives
By Ann Dassing
Mayor Caldwell Borough
Caldwell Borough is pleased to announce that it has been able to continue providing quality services to its residents during this recession, while also adopting a zero percent tax increase. How have we managed this? Through numerous innovations, including an almost decade-old shared services program and implementing new technologies.
We’ve had phenomenal success with one public safety technology initiative in particular—electronic ticketing. Implemented to increase residents’ quality of life and recapture lost revenue, the program has exceeded expectations by generating new revenue as well.
In June 2011, the Council, in partnership with the Caldwell Police Department, deployed the Info-Cop™ E-Ticket system, created by GTBM, Inc., a New Jersey-based software development and technology firm. The system, which generates digital traffic citations, enables law enforcement officers to issue tickets from their mobile computers or handheld devices.
Implemented to increase residents’ quality of life and recapture lost revenue, our electronic ticketing system has also brought in new revenue.
Increased Accuracy Brings Saving Through increased accuracy, Caldwell has been able to recapture the estimated 10 percent of traffic citations dismissed annually due to incorrect statute numbers and violations, illegibility, or other administrative data errors. As of September 30, Caldwell had exceeded its anticipated traffic ticket revenue goal with a quarter left in the calendar year and the number of tickets issued has increased by 13 percent. Much of Caldwell’s success with electronic ticketing is due to
the efforts of Caldwell Police Chief Dombrowski and his officers, who have embraced and mastered this
Safety and Productivity Gains In addition, Info-Cop™ E-Ticket has increased Caldwell’s officers’ safety and productivity. The electronic ticketing system captures data and auto-populates an electronic ticket. Data can be obtained from a swipe or scan of the offender’s driver’s license. The officer then selects the applicable violation from a drop-down menu and the Info-Cop™ E-Ticket automatically calculates and populates the appropriate statute number, fine, and court information on the ticket. Multiple citations can be issued during the same traffic stop simply by selecting different violations and printing the tickets.
The tickets are then automatically uploaded to the State of New Jersey Association of Courts system. This process takes on average 60 seconds. As a result, officers spend less time parked at the roadside (which is inherently dangerous) and more time patrolling neighborhoods. This has enabled our officers to better manage traffic moving through Caldwell. As word has spread that Caldwell issues tickets to traffic violators, we’ve seen a decrease in dangerous driving. And we know this translates into fewer accidents and saved lives. Electronic ticketing has also supported our “Safe and Peaceful Streets" project, which targets problem areas of the borough and seeks to create a safer walking environment for residents.
In much the same way that Caldwell was a trendsetter almost a decade ago, by launching a cost saving shared services program with neighboring towns, Info-Cop™ E-Ticket has recaptured lost revenue. These innovations and others have enabled us to continue providing quality services, such as police dispatch, libraries and other services.
Caldwell Borough (population approximately 7,800) is a small, proud town and residents have a lot to celebrate besides a steady tax rate. Caldwell is the birthplace of President Grover Cleveland and home to the ever popular annual Caldwell Street Fair. The borough ranked third in New Jersey Monthly’s 2010 “Best Places To Live.”
First published in New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 89, Number 1, January 2012