HPD launches e-citation pilot project

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The Honolulu Police Department is looking to do away with pen and paper! Some tickets handed out by Honolulu police officers are going electronic.

Nine officers in the traffic division will now be handing out electronic citations for roadway and parking offenses.

Under the new pilot program, officers will be able to use an IPad in order to issue a citation, which will be printed and looks similar to a receipt. The citation will then go into their system.

“After we’ve issued the motorists their copy now the electronic part takes over we can transfer that data electronically over to the judiciary after it’s been reviewed by an HPD supervisor and also to the prosecutors office,” said Cap. Ben Moszkowicz with the HPD traffic division. 

He says the data will be encrypted by one of the best law-enforcement encryption systems in the nation. Officers also have to use a fingerprint scan and unique code to log in. 

Moszkowicz says one of the benefits is it saves time for both drivers and officers.

“This will cut down on the amount of time the officers are in a dangerous location on the side of the road with their attention not directed towards traffic but directed towards motorists,” said Moszkowicz.

He says it normally takes between seven to ten minutes to write a citation under the old system. Under the new program, the average time is two to three minutes. 

The pilot program started Monday night, and by Tuesday morning, officers had already given out about 70 to 80 e-citations.

“They are excited to – maybe not give more citations – but be able to give the citations that they do give more easily, and they are excited that the data will be available,” said Moszkowicz. “They can go online and look at their citations in the future before they prepare for court.”

The pilot program costs a little over $100,000 and is being funded through a national Highway Safety Traffic Administration grant.

Maui was the first county to try a system similar to this.

“We’ve learned from some of their early challenges and we’ve kind of adopted our program and our situation to kind of fix some of the challenges that Maui had,” said Moszkowicz.

The project is currently in phase one, and if it’s successful, will branch out to 70 officers from Kaimuki to Salt Lake for phase two.

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