The Cass County Board has approved a new digital citation system to be used in the county.
In January, the board approved the “digiTicket” system that is already in place at over 110 law enforcement agencies in 20 counties across the state, according to Salutus Technologies the group that owns the software system.
A concerned Cass County citizen asked about the annual costs and the upkeep on the system Monday night at the board’s monthly meeting.
Board Chair Bill Merriman says that county will provide the start up costs for the new system: “After the initial buy in of the equipment first and then there is a maintenance fee every year, but it’s not a whole lot; the Beardstown Police Department will pay their part, the Sheriff’s Department will pay their part – a third of the annual fee; and then, the [Cass County] Circuit Clerk will pay a third of it out of his budget.”
According to the Cass County Star Gazette, the purchase price for the first year will be just over $59,000 which includes the annual fee of over $8,100.
Merriman says the goal is to make the process for the officers, the public, and the court system to be easier: “Basically, [officers] just kind of swipe your driver’s license [during a traffic citation stop]. It cuts down the average traffic stop, I think they were telling the board, from 17 minutes down to 6. It’s a big thing as far as getting the officer off the side of the road, getting them wherever else they need to be to do their job, and you’ll be able to read [the ticket]. Currently, there are 4 or 5 copies of a ticket. You can’t hardly read them, and this way it will all be legible and it will all come in directly to the courthouse. We approached the Ashland Police Department about this system, and they weren’t interested. The Beardstown Police Department is the only department big enough in the county that it would really pay for.”
Merriman says the Cass County Sheriff’s Office will also use the system for their traffic citations. The full implementation of the system for both agencies is expected to be completed later this year.