JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – It used to be hard for ideas that originated at the squadron level to progress to the Air Force level, recalls 1st Lt. Tyler Moore, defense support flight officer in charge with the 366th Security Forces Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
In today’s Air Force, however, he’s happy to see leaders seeking to quickly turn good ideas into capability. Moore’s idea, a mobile e-citation system for security forces squadrons, is one of eight selected as a finalist for the 2021 Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Innovation Rodeo.
“The fact that I was able to submit this idea through an online platform in a relatively short amount of time and now it’s here being looked at by some of the highest levels of Air Force leadership is pretty extraordinary,” said Moore, a native of Nampa, Idaho.
We asked him about his idea and what he hopes to accomplish:
Q: What are your primary duty responsibilities:
A: I lead security forces members who are charged with all support functions for our squadron. This includes resource management, mobility readiness, combat arms, armory operations, commander’s support staff and supply.
Q: What is a mobile e-citation system?
A: The system allows Defenders on patrol to rapidly scan driver’s licenses and auto-populate information onto a citation. The Defender can then select traffic/criminal offenses from a drop down menu and the system fills the citation out automatically with the traffic code violation information. The offender can sign the citation using the handheld device and then the citation is printed on a mobile Bluetooth printer mounted inside the patrol vehicle.
Q: What problem will your idea solve?
A: E-citations will solve two problems for security forces. The first is to eliminate lengthy traffic stops. Currently, Defenders have to handwrite each citation and take time to look up each violation in the local traffic code. Scanning with e-citations auto-populates all information, eliminating hand writing time and has each traffic code violation stored in the system for an easy drop down selection. This will reduce traffic stop times by 70 percent.
The second problem e-citations eliminates is administrative errors. Currently, the average citation takes about three days to be fully processed due to the amount of administrative errors that are made and then need to be fixed. With e-citations, the system won’t allow the ticket to be finished with missing information and auto-populates everything from menus that are pre-filled with error-free data. This will reduce administrative processing times by 30 percent.
Q: How will your idea help the Air Force deliver installation and mission support capabilities, improve installations or support families in a better way?
A: Studies have shown there is a direct correlation between the amount of traffic citations issued and the amount of vehicle accidents. Generally, fewer vehicle accidents occur when more traffic laws are enforced. E-citations will allow Defenders to spend more time patrolling and enforcing traffic violations and less time on administrative tasks. This will provide a safer community for the entire installation.
Q: How did you come up with your idea?
A: I was first introduced to this system while working for the Army as a DUI and collision investigator at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. I was impressed with the ease of the system and how much more time it allowed me to be patrolling the base compared to handwriting citations on the Air Force side of the base. I’m very excited to be in a position to use my past experience to bring a solution like this to the 366th Security Forces Squadron and hopefully the security forces enterprise as a whole.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for the Air Force to consider innovative solutions and ideas for the base of the future?
A: Each idea submitted individually may not seem like a game changer for the Air Force as a whole. However, we have to keep in mind that our largest competitors or threats throughout the world are innovating every day. Every idea they come up with to save time or be more efficient in one area gives them that much more time to focus on the bigger picture of how to defeat the U.S. We have to do the same. Every place we can find to cut out inefficiencies or use new technology in ways we’ve never thought of keeps us ahead of the game and in an ever-flowing position. We never want to get stagnant.
Q: How does it feel to be selected as a finalist for the 2021 Innovation Rodeo?
A: It definitely comes as a surprise!
Q: What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
A: I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of this process so instead of just telling the Airmen I lead that their ideas can be heard at the highest levels, I can actually show them the way. I’m also hoping to get some funding for the e-citation system.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I’d like to thank my squadron commander, Maj. Andrew Neubauer, for not listening to me when I told him I wasn’t sure this idea was good enough for this competition. Instead, he cut me off mid-sentence and said, “It’s perfect, we’re submitting it!” Now here we are in the top eight.