By Mary DePrez, Executive Director | Office of Court Technology
Beginning in 2008, the Indiana Office of Court Technology partnered with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and various law enforcement agencies to develop e-ticketing software for use by law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
As of April 2021, around 15,000 officers in over 500 law enforcement agencies—including Indiana State Police—use the Electronic Citation and Warning System software. More than 21 million citations and warnings have been written since 2008. Although paper tickets can still be issued by law enforcement, over 95% of all traffic infraction and ordinance cases are electronically issued.
The eCWS allows officers to record citation information for a traffic stop electronically. The bar code on a driver’s license and vehicle registration are scanned and the data is populated on the e-ticket. Because of this efficiency, duration of traffic stops has been reduced significantly, improving officer safety and overall safety of Hoosier roadways.
Filing traffic e-tickets with courts has also been streamlined. Following a review by the county prosecutor, the e-ticket information is entered directly into a court’s case management system, which saves countless data entry hours by clerk staff and reduces errors. Once the court submits a disposition on the case, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles receives the required information for matching it to the appropriate driving record.
The Indiana Office of Court Technology has applied for and been fortunate to receive many state and federal grants that support the e-ticket program, including software development, officer training, laptops, barcode scanners, and support of the application without any cost to law enforcement agencies or local taxpayers. Over the past 13 years, officers using the eCWS have provided valuable feedback and suggestions for enhancements to the software:
- Operating while intoxicated, supplemental, and general probable cause affidavits
- Towing forms
- Collection of demographic data
- Improved geographic information mapping to improve system performance
Twenty-seven-year veteran and Hammond Police Department Lieutenant Pat Vicari, was an early adopter of the eCWS and provided key contributions to the project,
Hammond PD began using the eCWS in 2008. As with anything new, there was much skepticism. I previously worked as a motor officer, performing enforcement duties for seven years—when all tickets were handwritten. I was the first in our department to use the system as part of a “train-the-trainer,” and now the entire department is required to submit all citations through the eCWS. This system has dramatically increased officer efficiency and safety and has been one of the best upgrades in my career.