Over the years, I’ve talked to quite a few law enforcement professionals facing the task of equipping their fleet with the tools of electronic citation. Most of their departments already have computers in the vehicles, along with a host of other electronic and tactical gear. eCitation almost always includes a driver license reader (we think pretty highly of our own 4810LR – now replaced by the next generation 4910LR), but it necessitates a printer.
Interested in learning more on eCitation technology? Read: ‘The 8 Compontents of an in-vehicle eCitation Solution.’
Once you get rid of that stack of pre-printed, hand-written tickets, a printer becomes a mandatory piece of equipment in an already crowded environment. So where can you possibly install that patrol vehicle printer such as the Brother PocketJet6 or the ZebraZQ520?
Whether you’re considering a full sheet thermal, a 4″ thermal or a full sheet portable inkjet printer, you’ve got to find somewhere to wedge it in. Our partner, LEM Solutions offers an option that takes advantage of a space rarely occupied in today’s patrol vehicles – the passenger headrest area. The historical argument against this method is that you absolutely do not want anything other than a headrest approved under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards while that seat is occupied. It’s a very sound argument and one that I stress to potential users.
However, as anyone reading this probably knows, the modern patrol vehicle rarely carries a passenger (at least in the front row). Store the OEM headrest in the trunk, and swap it out in minutes when that seat needs to be occupied. The posts that secure it to the seat fold out to stabilize the printer on the floor for those occasions.
*This article was updated September 8, 2015.