Calera Police Department awarded $25,079 in latest tech grant

The Calera Police Department has received a $25,079 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program to purchase 22 electronic citation devices for patrol cars.

Chief Sean Lemley said the device will enable officers to process and print traffic tickets from their cars, thus reducing the time it takes to conduct a routine traffic stop.

“The officer will swipe a person’s driver’s license on the device, and the driver’s information will transfer to the computer in the car,” Lemley said. “The officer then clicks on the driver’s offense and clicks the print button.”

Lemley said written citations take officers about 15 minutes to complete. The new device will print the citation and transfer it to the city and state court system in less time.

The JAG grant comes after the department was appropriated a $200,000 technology grant for 16 laptop computers and 22 digital cameras. Officers currently rotate 10 laptops for 22 patrol cars. The grant, which Lemley expects to receive this fall, will put a laptop and camera in each car.

Lemley applied for another grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and received more than $140,000 for technology upgrades. This grant bought a direct link to Shelby County 911 Computer Aided Dispatch System, which provides officers information about emergency calls much faster. Officers also have a GPS mapping system that provides detailed directions to emergency calls.

Lemley said the advances keeps officers on the streets where they are needed. Officers have the ability to complete police reports and other paperwork while on patrol.

“This system should cut down on our response time and give our officers the tools they need to apprehend criminals more effectively and efficiently,” Lemley said. “We’re going to have some of the most technologically advanced vehicles out there on the streets and we’ll continue to build on that.”