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The Knoxville Police Chief will propose an electronic ticketing system at Tuesday's city council meeting.

The department says adding electronic citations would cut down on paperwork and speed up the process of getting traffic tickets from the officer to the court system.

KPD already plans to upgrade its laptops to tablets.

Officials hope the software would allow officers to swipe a person's driver's license that would automatically fill in their information on the e-citation. The offender would also sign the ticket, right on the tablet.

"So it will definitely cut down on time, it will definitely cut down on costs. Another aspect, that is the officers in the field, it will cut down a lot of their time they take having to actually sit and write the citation out. A lot of that process will be automated, too," said Chief David Rausch.

To pay for the new system, the police department will ask the city council to add a $5 dollar fee to each paid ticket.

This year, the General Assembly approved allowing departments to adopt that fee specifically to get e-citation software.

Eventually, the police department hopes people will be able to pay their tickets online.

Knoxville police officials expect the proposed electronic ticketing system to cost between $250,000 to $400,000 to implement with most of the money tied to purchasing the equipment, software and licensing.

"Usually with these, you have to have a license per officer per unit," said Knoxville Police Department Spokesman Darrell DeBusk, adding that the first stage is the most expensive part of getting the program up and running.

Officials at this point do not know how much it will cost to maintain each year.

That won't happen until the city starts the bidding process and potential vendors submit proposals.

DeBusk said money used from the new $5 fee would fund the program, however, officials do not know how much it will bring in.

DeBusk said the department issued 73,000 citations last year, but that doesn't necessarily "mean there were 73,000 guilty or no contest pleas that would qualify to get the $5 fee."

The city, under state law, will be able to collect the fee for only five years and then the ordinance sunsets.

After that, the city will have to find other revenues to maintain the system.

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