Friday, November 12, 2010

KCPD moving to web-based criminal info system that will allow for e-ticketing

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department was ahead of its time in 1968 when it launched ALERT, the first computerized criminal justice information system in the state.

Now the department is taking the next step forward by moving from ALERT (Automated Law Enforcement Response Team) to REJIS (Regional Justice Information System). REJIS, based in St. Louis, will be a web-based system that is easier to use and will allow the department to move forward with e-ticketing.

“The goal of all of this is to provide accurate, timely information to officers in the field for officer safety,” said Sergeant Joy Colmar, assistant project manager for the REJIS transition.

Payroll, time-keeping, and a few other functions will remain in ALERT, but police information will move to REJIS.

The department and City of Kansas City signed the contract for REJIS in August and are migrating data into the new system. Training for all personnel who use the police function of ALERT will begin in the spring, and the whole REJIS system is planned to go live by Labor Day 2011.

“REJIS is very user-friendly,” Sgt. Colmar said. “You can see driver’s license photos, and it’s web-based, so you don’t have to know all the codes to run queries. You just click a button.”
Like ALERT, REJIS will allow officers to run subjects for warrants and probation/parole status, will check for stolen automobiles and keep statistics on arrests, accidents and offenses.

But REJIS also will allow the department to use e-ticketing. The Municipal Court already is moving to this paperless alternative, so the City is funding the police department’s switch to REJIS so it can be compatible.

E-ticketing will be virtually paperless. Gone will be the days of triplicate citations with sheets of carbon paper.

Officers will soon have computers with small printers in their cars (or a hand-held version for people like motorcycle officers) to enter citation information. They will then print a receipt-like ticket for the violator. The computer already will have transferred the citation information to the police department and to Municipal Court.

REJIS also will require an additional layer of security, she said. Officers will likely carry a key fob, commonly referred to as a token, that automatically generates log-in numbers to access the system.

REJIS is a quasi-governmental entity. It is governed by a Commission whose members are mostly police chiefs whose agencies participate in the system. The 120 area agencies who currently subscribe to ALERT will have the opportunity to join REJIS or subscribe to another criminal justice information system.