Welcome back to Part 3 of our series on electronic ticketing equipment for the patrol car. As we’ve mentioned in Parts 1 and 2, there isn’t a “one size fits all” when it comes to having an effective eCitation setup in your patrol vehicle.
However, after almost two decades of partnership with law enforcement agencies across the country, we have gathered feedback and have learned from other agencies on their eCitation preferences. We have deep knowledge and expertise on the main components you’ll need to implement an eCitation solution successfully. In this blog series, we share those components, as well as offer suggestions based on officer feedback. We know that your #1 job is to protect and serve the community. We want to share our eCitation knowledge so that your equipment can get you off the shoulder, and get you (and the motorist you stopped) back on the road faster.
Return to Part 2 to learn about tablet computers, laptop computers, and mounting systems, or Part 1 to learn about driver’s license scanners and mounts. Otherwise, read on to discover more about mobile printers, printer mounts and thermal paper.
Printer with Compatible Mount
Mobile thermal printers (like the Brother PocketJet 7) are your best bet when it comes to an unpredictable patrol car environment because mobile inkjet printers contain lots of moving parts that can be damaged over time. Thermal printers are compact and have minimal moving parts, which means they can stand up to the vibrations and constant movement within your patrol car. In addition, thermal printers don’t use ink cartridges, so the maintenance required with a thermal printer is significantly less than an inkjet printer.
Most agencies and departments use eCitation software that requires an 8.5-inch printer, although some software prints to a 4-inch printer. You will need to safely and securely mount your printer. Based on the configuration and space in your vehicle, 8.5” printers can be mounted with a headrest mount, an armrest mount or a standard mount. Each mount has pros & cons – if you are unsure which option is best for your agency our public safety team is available & can assist with pairing you with the right eCitation equipment.
Along with your thermal printer, you’ll need thermal paper, which contains special chemicals that react with the heat from the printer heads to produce the final printed product. A high-quality thermal paper is key because your printed citations and other documents will have the greatest longevity and archivability. Archivability ratings will indicate the intended lifespan of the paper based on heat, humidity, sunlight and moisture.
Mobile Thermal Printers
The 8.5-inch: Brother PocketJet 7
The 4-inch: Zebra RuggedJet Printer
Each printer series has a variety of models.
Thermal Printer Paper
L-Tron PocketJet Compatible Continuous Thermal Paper 8.5 (LTC-TPR36)
L-Tron PocketJet Compatible Perforated Thermal Paper 8.5 (LTC-TPR36PERF)
Paper is also available from printer providers, though L-Tron paper is most cost-effective (offered at $100-$200 less than competitor offerings!)
Brother, Havis, LEM and Zebra all offer high-quality printer mounts to secure your mobile printer in your patrol vehicle. Uncover the differences between a headrest, armrest and standard printer mount.
If you missed out on the beginning of our Officer’s Guide to eCitation Series, you can read part 1 here.
Interested in more information on mobile printers, thermal paper and printer mounts? Call 585-383-0050 or email info@L-Tron.com.