Danville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow Circuit and District courts in Danville to assess a $5 fee to pay for an electronic summons system that will make it easier for police to write traffic tickets.
The fee would be assessed as part of the costs for each criminal and traffic case.
The fee would be collected by the Clerk of the Court, remitted to the City Treasurer, and used solely to purchase and maintain software, scanners and printers that could scan a driver’s license and print out a ticket.
Once in place, this new system would cut out the manual data entry needed when a police officer issues a ticket or summons. An officer would scan a driver's license, and then the new system would load the information on an electronic form. The officer would print out a ticket on-site while simultaneously sending a copy to the court via wireless technology.
Police Chief Philip Broadfoot told council members that the system has decided advantages over the older paper and pen systems. He said would eliminate the errors of repetitively entering this data and would free up police department staff to focus on other duties.
A new Virginia law that took effect on July 1 allows localities to establish an ordinance to assess the fee.
In other matters on Tuesday night, Council held a first reading on accepting a grant to purchase protective gear for the Fire Dept. Council will vote on the grant at its next meeting, which is scheduled for July 15.
Mayor Sherman Saunders and City Council recognized the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act that established Cooperative Extension.
Council also heard a staff report on the second annual Make Danville Shine campaign, which was held in May. The campaign included an expo and pledge to clean, paint and fix-up property in the city.
Danville Public Works Department crews collected an extra disposal of 184 tons of mixed debris from residents during the month-long effort.
The extra tonnage was generated by residents who arranged for the use of the department’s debris trailers or simply placed oversized piles of debris at their curbside for pickup by the city’s grapple “bucket” trucks.
In support of the cleanup campaign, the Public Works Department made available by appointment its 18 cubic-yard trailers at no charge. It also allowed oversized piles of separated yard waste and household debris to be placed at residential curbsides for collection at no charge.
The “Make Danville Shine” campaign encourages every citizen to focus on maintenance, upkeep and beautification of their property and to assist neighbors who may not be able to do so due to age or disability.