Public Safety Case Study – Winter Garden Police
PocketJet mobile thermal printers provide a better alternative to inkjets for the Winter Garden Police Department.
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — The Winter Garden Police Department wanted to find a better and more reliable alternative to the mobile inkjet printers they had been deploying in their vehicles. A demo unit of the Brother™ PocketJet® 6 mobile thermal printer was provided to the department for evaluation that included the full-page thermal printer, a Brother mount that enclosed both the printer and paper, a vehicle power adapter, and Brother continuous-roll thermal paper.
The Winter Garden Police Department had been using inkjet printers in their vehicles for some time. The inkjet printers had presented a number of issues over time, some of which made them much more unreliable than originally expected.
With the current inkjet model the department had deployed, accidental breakage was a major issue. The inkjet had many small and apparently brittle plastic parts that tended to fail under routine use in the police vehicles; and in many cases when these parts failed the entire inkjet became inoperable. Exposed openings and exposed gears meant that small objects could fall into these, jamming the printer at best and at worst causing total inkjet failure and required replacement.
Reliance on inkjet technology brought its own problems. Officers had to stock up on cartridges before their shifts. If unused for a while cartridges would dry out. When cartridges ran low print quality would suffer. Even under good conditions, output easily smeared if handled. And because the inkjet required paper to be gravity fed, in the heat and humidity of Florida, it wasn’t possible to keep the paper upright; so paper had to be manually fed for each printing.
Finally, the current inkjet was bulky and often in the way in a crowded vehicle.
When evaluating alternatives, the Brother PocketJet mobile thermal printers became a clear favorite for the evaluator/tester – Officer Hoi Khuu of the Winter Garden Police Department.
Compared to the inkjet printers in use, the PocketJet printers were much more compact and appeared better designed for vehicle operation by officers on a daily basis. There were fewer moving parts, fewer openings for foreign objects to fall into, and less exposed gears and components. As Officer Khuu reported: “The printer is smaller, so there is less chance of bumping it or accidently striking it with random objects. The size also is complimented with fewer parts, which can be broken such as the lid to the (inkjet) printers. The thermal printer is incased in a steel box* that helps prevent damage to it.”
With the inkjets they had been using, miscellaneous things often fell into the exposed gears accidently in day-to-day use. “Due the sensitivity of the printer parts, the printer would fail to function and a new printer would have to be purchased,” Officer Khuu said. With the PocketJet, “If anything was dropped, there is less to no chance the object would get trapped into the printer.”
Officer Khuu saw clear advantages for thermal printing technology. “The thermal printer does not rely on ink, which is financially sound for the department,” he noted. “Ink cartridges tend to dry with weather changes or inactivity. The strip on the cartridge becomes dry and if after moisture is applied to the strip, it may or may not function properly. The cartridges also have a downfall as documents are being printed and the ink begins running out, the print tends to be faded.”
Supply issues were a problem with the inkjets as well, according to Officer Khuu: “There are times where it is not possible to get an ink cartridge such as being at the jail … the thermal printers just require paper and as long officers keep a back up roll of paper at all times, they need not worry about printing.”
A common complaint from officers in the field about the inkjets – paper feeding – was also addressed with the PocketJet. “The paper quality provided with the thermal printer is much more convenient. It’s in a roll, which is also protected by a steel box*. I need not worry about the paper being exposed to gravity as it sits,” said Officer Khuu, who added that the current inkjet printer “requires you to place paper in to print, because if the paper is left on the printer (standing position) it’ll begin sagging” because of heat, temperature, moisture, and also from “hitting the paper as someone reaches over to pick something up from the passenger seat.”
The Brother paper itself won acclaim from Officer Khuu: “The paper is also fantastic because there is no ink. I have poured water on printed thermal paper right after they are printed and tried to rub the wording off. The print did not smear or become unreadable. I am not able to say that with (inkjet) printed documents.”
Officer Khuu found the PocketJet easy to install. “The thermal printer is also easily installed. As long as the officer has the laptop connected to the wireless internet, the printer, once plugged in, it’ll automatically search for the program online and download the program. After being installed, there is no need for any further action.”
Overall, Officer Khuu was well pleased with the Brother PocketJet system he evaluated. “I have enjoyed this printer much more and am ecstatic about it. I believe the department will benefit more to switch over to the ‘Brother thermal printers.’”
To find a mobile printing solution that was more reliable and cost effective than a current inkjet solution, without sacrificing performance and output quality.
Brother PocketJet full-page mobile thermal printers with Brother thermal roll paper, and Brother vehicle mounts.
Benefits of Brother™ PocketJet® 6 Mobile Thermal Printers
Fast, full-page printing from laptops and handhelds
- With print speeds up to 6ppm, PocketJet® 6 printers can quickly print accident reports, depositions, maps and other full-page documents in the field, right from PCs or handhelds.
Print documents with high-resolution text, graphics and pictures
- Print highresolution text and pictures – in up to 300 x 300 dpi – from vehicles, critical for speeding apprehension of suspects from Amber Alerts and other investigations, and for documenting accident and crime scenes.
Easier to operate and maintain in the field
- PocketJet® 6 mobile thermal printers have been proven to perform reliably in public safety every day from Arizona to Anchorage. There are no inks or toners to maintain and replace – there’s only one consumable: highquality Brother™thermal cut-sheet, fanfold or continuous-roll paper.
Easily adaptable to a variety of vehicles
- At only about 10” in length, about 2” wide and 1.25” high, and weighing about 1.3 lbs., PocketJet® 6 printers are among the smallest full-page mobile printers. Multiple vehicle mounting and power options* are available to adapt PocketJet®6 printers to almost any vehicle, even motorcycles.
About Brother™ PocketJet® 6 full-page mobile thermal printers and Public Safety
PocketJet® 6 full-page thermal printing solutions provide an enhanced tool that can quickly print high-resolution text, graphics and photos, with potentially fewer issues in the field than mobile inkjet printers. With reliable PocketJet® 6 printers, officers can now print out warrants with high-quality pictures, Amber Alerts, accident photos, and more right from their vehicles, all on cut-sheet, fanfold or continuous-roll thermal paper up to 8.5” wide. They can also be used to produce e-citations.
This added graphics capability and full-page size can help speed apprehension, reduce identification problems, provide clearer documentation of accident and crime scenes, help enhance driver-information exchanges, and print detailed maps, directions and more. Since PocketJet® 6 models easily connect via USB or an optional Bluetooth® technology interface* to an officer’s laptop or handheld, and use thermal printing technology that requires only one consumable – high-quality Brother™ thermal paper – there are added operating efficiencies.
PocketJet® 6 printers are also among the smallest and lightest full-page mobile printing solutions available today at only about 10” in length, about 2” wide and 1.25” high, and weighing about 1.3 lbs. Multiple mounting and power options* are available to accommodate the PocketJet® 6 printers easily in virtually all public safety vehicles – even motorcycles.
- Warrants & subpoenas
- Amber Alerts
- Accident/crime scene documentation
- Driver-information exchanges
- Maps and directions
- Tow tickets
About Brother Mobile Solutions
Brother Mobile Solutions is a leading provider of mobile printing solutions for Public Safety applications. Brother’s full-size PocketJet and ultra-portable MPrint mobile printers have been used successfully by law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, and fire and rescue squads to print electronic citations, AMBER Alerts, accident and arrest reports, patient care reports, inspection certificates, and more. Brother Mobile Solutions, Inc., located in Broomfield, CO, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brother International Corporation.