Oct 27 2022

Voices: The Role of Mobile Printers Grows in Local Government and Public Safety

Many agencies require portable and rugged printing solutions for employees on location.

In just a few years, the global mobile printer market has grown exponentially, from $290 million in 2014 to $2.89 billion in 2020, according to Emergen Research. This growth underscores the increasingly important role printer mobility and portability are playing across industries, including public services.

Mobile printers — paired with flexible, simultaneous Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity — are frequently used in local government, particularly in public safety, law enforcement and voting. The demand for print-as-you-go functionality in a rugged, reliable solution was already growing before COVID-19, but the pandemic dramatically accelerated that growth.

Law enforcement and other public safety officials increasingly need mobile printing solutions that allow them to improve efficiency and effectiveness while also increasing safety on the job.

Independent software vendors and value-added resellers who serve state and local governments should consider these solutions a key component of their offerings, as they present a number of benefits for the public sector.

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Tackling the Challenges of Safety and Efficiency

For law enforcement, the traffic stop can be a dangerous, time-consuming and inefficient process. Officers spend significant time parked roadside as traffic flies by, filling out handwritten citations that are time-consuming and can often be illegible or incorrect. Having to rewrite them can increase the amount of time spent in hazardous conditions, and illegible tickets that get thrown out in court have a negative impact on revenue.

Modernizing a local police department with mobile printing solutions improves safety, efficiency and return on investment. After one police department implemented mobile printers, the length of an average traffic stop fell from 20 minutes to under five. Additionally, less than 1 percent of tickets were thrown out in court, down from the previous rate of 15 percent.

Another municipality was able to use mobile printers in the police department and five additional departments — including commercial vehicle inspection, animal control, park rangers and the fire department — for an array of needs.

Adjusting Printing Needs in Disparate Polling Stations

Voting security remains a top concern for citizens and local government officials. At the same time, COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for portable voting technology that can also provide a secure paper trail.

Mobile printers that are integrated into portable, federally certified voting solutions allow in-person voters to cast their vote securely and seamlessly at whatever location is most convenient for them. Not only does this make voting more accessible for those with disabilities or those who prefer greater flexibility, it maintains integrity with a 100 percent voter-verifiable paper record.

EXPLORE: How mobile devices are helping firefighters save lives.

Integrating Printers on the Job Regardless of Worksite

The pandemic has radically shifted the way local government employees work and where they work. Rather than primarily being tethered to the office, employees are using a variety of devices at home, in the field and everywhere in between.

Government and public safety workers need printers that are mobile and flexible enough to keep up and durable enough to withstand the rigors of public sector fieldwork.

In particular, the modern work environment requires mobile printers that feature:

  • Complete connectivity. Government workers operate in a variety of connectivity environments, and their mobile printers must reflect that, with options to print with Wi-Fi full-speed USB 2.0, AirPrint MFi or Bluetooth technology.
  • Compatibility and versatility. The pandemic has changed how work gets done. Employees are now using a variety of devices, ranging from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops. Mobile printers need compatibility with various platforms and operating systems and the versatility to operate on the go throughout the day.
  • The public sector is demanding, and time is critical. Mobile printers must be fast and reliable. Printing in seconds enables workers to get more done.
  • Professional quality. Whether government employees are printing 1-inch labels or larger documents on standard-sized paper, they need mobile printers that deliver crisp, clear, easily readable documents.
  • Power that lasts. When employees are in the field, they need solutions that won’t quit. Long-lasting batteries minimize disruption and downtime.
  • Small but powerful design. Law enforcement officers and on-the-go local government employees need printing solutions that don’t sacrifice power, yet are small enough to keep in a vehicle or motorcycle.

Choosing the right mobile printers for state and local government settings can have a significant and measurable impact on productivity and public safety. As employee mobility and printing needs expand, the market for mobile printers will only continue to grow. That’s why solution vendors must ensure that printer selection is an integrated and key part of their overall suite of offerings.

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