Montreal Police Case Study

Serving the entire island of Montreal with 1,800,000 inhabitants, the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) is the second largest municipal police force in Canada. The SPVM is a first-degree responder for the community, and its responsibilities include protecting the lives and property of citizens, maintaining peace and public security, preventing and combating crime, and enforcing laws and regulations including parking ordinances.

Overview

Serving the entire island of Montreal with 1,800,000 inhabitants, the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) is the second largest municipal police force in Canada. The SPVM is a first-degree responder for the community, and its responsibilities include protecting the lives and property of citizens, maintaining peace and public security, preventing and combating crime, and enforcing laws and regulations including parking ordinances.

Before implementing an electronic system, the SPVM relied heavily on manual processes for issuing nearly two million fines and preparing more than 600,000 reports each year associated with road safety, car parking and other municipal payments. The SPVM recognized that in order to streamline these activities and increase the productivity and safety of its officers, a computerized system was needed.

Officer™ Citations and The GoBook MR-1 have turned out to be the ideal solution for our mobile officers. They can now enjoy the benefits of computing that their counterparts in vehicles have been enjoying with laptops. As a result, the entire system, from the Montreal Police Service to the courts, is able to streamline operational efficiencies.

Problem

The SPVM faced several challenges with the manual system, such as mistakes and errors with handwritten transcriptions. These mistakes led to backtracking through the process to ensure that accurate information was captured, as well as officers having to spend extra time in court handling disputes over inaccuracies. A paper-based system was also cumbersome to manage, particularly for those officers on motorcycle and horse patrol, where carrying capacity is limited. With paperwork distributed across vehicles, officer personnel, agency headquarters, and the courts, another risk was the loss of reports at various stages, and delays in transmission and handling, causing administrative difficulties. The SPVM was ready to implement a solution that would provide an integrated, standardized system that offered its personnel instantaneous access to critical data without the hassles of manual paper processing.

“We sought a solution that would streamline the process of issuing tickets and generating reports, all the way from origination with the officer or parking attendant, to completion at the municipal courts,” said Commander Marianne Rivest, Montreal Police Service. “In addition, we wanted a system that would provide real-time access to information that would support our officers on the job, both for efficiency and safety reasons.”

“We wanted a system that would provide real-time access to information that would support our officers on the job, both for efficiency and safety reasons.”

Solution

Working with gtechna, a leading solutions provider for rugged mobile computing systems, the SPVM looked at deploying a mobile enforcement solution comprised of both rugged notebooks for cruiser vehicles, and ultra-mobile notebook PCs for officers on motorcycles. In order to complement the efficiency of gtechna’s Officer™ Citations software, gtechna and the SPVM chose the General Dynamics ltronix rugged GoBook MR-1, an ultra-mobile notebook that delivers the benefits of a full-size notebook for their highly mobile motorcycle officers, without impeding on the functionality of their non-traditional vehicles. The MR-1 is equipped with all the computing power of traditional notebooks, yet is one-quarter of the size. The rugged device is optimized for thumb typing, has a display screen with superior outdoor viewability, is powerful enough to handle the numerous applications used in law enforcement, and is small enough to be mounted on the front or back compartment of motorcycles, or can simply be stored in a belt holster.
The GoBook MR-1 is not only small and powerful, it is rugged as well and can withstand just about everything Mother Nature throws its way, including driving rain, punishing three-foot drops, extreme vibration, high and low temperatures, high humidity, and dust.
“The GoBook MR-1 fits the needs of the SPVM perfectly because of its durability and very small size, yet does not compromise the full functionality needed by motorcycle officers,” said Sergio Mastronardi, Chief Technology Officer at gtechna. “Furthermore, the clamshell design which allows the unit to be closed when not in use, was preferred over other portable models. And because it operates on Windows XP, the SPVM can use a private VPN to exchange data with the necessary databases in a secure manner.”
Other components in the Officer™ solution include BlueTooth enabled Zebra RW420 thermal printers. At the scene, the device can print out weather and tear resistant tickets which can be processed directly in banks.

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The GoBook MR-1 fits the needs of the SPVM perfectly because of its durability and very small size, yet does not compromise the full functionality needed by motorcycle officers.

Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
Montreal

Results

With the new Officer™ Citations and ultra-mobile computing system in place, the SPVM has greatly improved efficiencies within the organization. With manual ticketing and report writing a thing of the past, transcription errors have been reduced by 75 percent, which in turn minimizes the amount of time officers spend in court—and the extra taxpayer money to put them there—while maximizing their presence on the street where they need to be.

“We are able to produce more tickets in less time, and much more efficiently. What used to take 20 minutes—from license and VIN checks—now takes just one minute,” said Commander Marianne Rivest. “Officer™ Citations and The GoBook MR-1 have turned out to be the ideal solution for our mobile officers. They can now enjoy the benefits of computing that their counterparts in vehicles have been enjoying with laptops. As a result, the entire system, from the Montreal Police Service to the courts, is able to streamline operational efficiencies.”

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