NORWALK, Conn. -- There's good news for motorists pulled over by a Norwalk Police Department motorcycle officer for a traffic stop: They should be stopped for only about half the time due to new technology on the department’s two motorcycles.
The bad news? They’re still probably going to get a ticket.
On Wednesday, the police department displayed one of the two Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) and the E-printers that it recently acquired. They will be used on its two 2011 Road King Harley-Davidson motorcycles for traffic enforcement and other police duties.
“It makes traffic stops that much quicker. And that’s much more effective so that I don’t have people tied up for a very long time,” said Officer John Haggerty. “I would have to say that this pretty well cuts my stop time in half.”
A third 2011 Harley-Davidson is used by the department but not full time for traffic enforcement.
The MDT, or laptop computer, is the same item found in the department’s other vehicles. The MDT, along with the E-printer, sits snugly in a compartment.
When Haggerty makes a traffic stop, he can quickly access all the information he needs from the MDT, which swivels up, instead of relying on police dispatch. He also saves time by typing in the information he needs for a ticket on the MDT’s keyboard. Previously, he said he had to write the ticket out by hand. That was sometimes awkward when compared with the ease of typing.
Haggerty is a fan of the new system.
“It’s very easy to work even for someone like me who still bangs rocks to get fire,” he joked.
Chief Thomas Kulhawik said he believed the department is the first in the state to have a motorcycle equipped with the MDT and E-printer, although he said he believes Danbury is moving toward it.
The nearly $15,000 cost of purchasing and installing the equipment was picked up by a city resident, he said.
“The great thing about this is that it didn’t cost the city anything. We had a benefactor, who does not want to be identified, who donated all the funds to purchase the mount, the equipment, the MDT, the E-ticket printer,” Kulhawik said.
The anonymous donor is interested in funding technology projects, he said.