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Franklin Twp. police to use vehicle toolkit
Citizens wishing to obtain copies of accident reports filed in Franklin Township will soon have an easier time doing so.
The Franklin Township Police Department is gearing up to begin using the Law Enforcement Officer’s Toolkit (LEOT) in all their vehicles. Franklin Township will now be among the more than 335 other Ohio agencies converting to this new system.
“Right now we are developing a program in our department to convert over from writing our accident reports by hand on paper, to doing our traffic accident reports on the computer,” Franklin Township Police Chief Jim Timko said.
Currently the township’s accident reports are handwritten, and, in order to get the documents into the record keeping system, they must be scanned once submitted to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
According to Timko, the process of scanning the documents into the computer is completed by a third party at a cost of $1.50 per report – Franklin Township writes approximately 500 reports a year – and the reports take around three to four weeks to become available.
However, once switching over to digital reporting, not only will the state of Ohio save money by no longer having to manually scan accident reports, but the reports can be made available online within hours. Additionally, the online reports may be accessed by citizens through Ohiopd.com and printed off without cost.
“We will submit our reports digitally. It speeds the process up for them to be filed and making them available to the public,” Timko said. “The benefit of that is the state of Ohio, by doing this, saves a $1.50 a report.”
Timko said a citizen currently is required to visit the township business office, where the reports need to be copied and $4 is charged for the service. By adopting the use of LEOT, Timko said citizens are benefited.
“We are in the process of preparing for it. We have bought computer equipment, we have to update the computers in the car…Officers are now reviewing the accident software and I’m scheduling a date for training, where they’ll be trained, and the officers will begin doing the reports online,” Timko said.
Franklin Township is also working on a new developmental website for their police department, which according to Timko, came about when officers approached him with the idea.
“We have Officer Ratliff, who’s computer literate, developing a website for the Franklin Township Police Department,” Timko said.
He added the community will be able to visit the website where the department’s mission statement, departmental information, and links to other organizations such as Crime Stoppers will be made available. Furthermore, they hope to make the website functional as a place where citizens may leave community crime tips.
“It’s a project in development,” Timko said. “The last time I looked at it, it was looking pretty good.”
The website is being developed in-house and at no costs. No official launch date is yet set for the website.
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