A North Texas police department is taking advantage of new technology that will keep officers on the streets longer. The Lewisville Police Department will be one of the first in the state to try out electronic accident reporting.
Like the majority of police departments in the state, The Lewisville Police Department currently files handwritten accident reports. Sergeant Paul Barron said this handwritten method is time consuming. Officers must return to the station to print and fill out reports. He said the process can take hours. That's why his agency applied to be one of 22 in the state to try out TxDOT's electronic accident reporting system.
"They will be able to submit it on the street without any printing. The officers will be able to stay out longer," Barron said.
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Barron said his department already files DWI reports electronically.
"The handwritten DWI reports used to take 2 to 4 hours. It's down now to an hour or an hour and a half for officers," Barron said. "We are hoping that the crash reporting time will also do the same thing -- cut it down by at least a half."
The Lewisville Police Department will not have to buy any new computers. The software they are going to use is already compatible with the computers inside their police cars.
"They [the department] might have to have this one-time fee of like $500," Barron said.
In the long run, he said the department will save money because the system is designed to cut paper costs. Barron says citizens will still be able to request a paper copy of the reports.
The Lewisville Police Department will begin training for the electronic system in June.
Until then, they will continue writing reports by hand.