Monday, August 29, 2011

Paperless ticketing and new REJIS criminal justice info. system are now live

I've been talking about it for a while, and it's finally here: the full change-over to E-ticketing and a new criminal justice information system, REJIS. A ceremony at Municipal Court this morning marked this transition. Kansas City is the first major municipality in the country in which the city's criminal justice system is paperless from the time an officer gives you a ticket to the time the case reaches its final disposition in court.

At the police department, we’ve already begun electronic ticketing, which gets officers back out in the field much faster than the hand-written kind. As of this morning, I heard the record for issuing an e-ticket is down to two minutes. They’re also far more accurate. No longer will someone at Municipal Court struggle to read an officer’s hand-writing. And no more hand-carrying stacks of tickets. In a meeting in the process of this, I once heard that up until REJIS, the greatest technological advancement in information sharing between KCPD and the Municipal Court was that officers started carrying tickets over in metal boxes instead of wooden ones.

The LE-Web portion of REJIS also is going to benefit the police department greatly. This new electronic criminal justice information system notifies police about wants and warrants and is much easier to use than our old system, which was technology from the early 1990s. It also allows police to pull up driver’s license photos and license plate and vehicle information from the Missouri Department of Revenue so they can know who they'll be dealing with before they enter a potentially dangerous situation. This system went live at midnight August 28 and is humming along quite nicely.

The transition to REJIS took place in one year and was on time and on budget. It was a huge undertaking, and I congratulate the KCPD project team who worked very closely with Municipal Court and REJIS staff to get it into place. Our KCPD staff trained more than 1,500 officers and support staff on the new system. The City estimates it will save $1 million annually and more efficiently move the 300,000 citations written by Kansas City Police annually through Municipal Court. This is a huge step forward that will benefit the people of Kansas City.

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