This article written by Michael Keating originally appeared in American City & County.  To read the article on that site, please click here.

The mobile workforce is growing.  Researchers at International Data Corporation forecast that mobile workers in the U.S. will comprise nearly 75 percent of the total workforce by 2020. Portable computing devices, cloud-based networks and compact wireless printers enable on-the-go professionals to conduct business virtually anywhere, working from their “office on wheels.”

In choosing mobile printers, municipal, state and federal agencies are often stymied by which mobile printing technology to select. The answer is that compact thermal mobile printers are superior on many levels and can help improve productivity for mobile workers in agencies such as public safety, food and safety inspection, home health care, and parks and recreation.
Case in Point: Public Safety

The Kingsville (Texas) Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force experienced good results when they decided to equip mobile agents with Brother RuggedJet mobile e-citation printers. The portable printer previously used was not rugged enough to withstand the rigors of the job or the hot, humid south Texas environment. Paper jams and wasted paper were common and battery power was often not sufficient to handle an agent’s entire shift. The printers offered tough construction, smooth roll-paper feed, and long battery life for reliable performance.

“It takes a lot of punishment,” says Kingsville Agent Gus Ruiz of the e-citation printer. “These are for agents who are out there doing drug interdiction on the highway. They’re constantly moving from one point to the next.”

Kingsville Agent Richard Kirkpatrick explains that the non-rugged printers that the task force used in the past wasted half the pages with paper jams. “The RuggedJet, with continuous feeding rolls of thermal paper, eliminated the jamming problem while producing longer-form, more legible printouts. It also printed about twice as many citations or warnings between reloads,” Kirkpatrick says.

With Bluetooth connectivity, the e-citation printer has let the Kingsville task force cut the cable. And with at least eight-hour battery life between charges, the agents can operate both mobile laptop and printer at work assignments, such as concerts, without the patrol car.

Mobile workforces, including police and public safety officials require compact, rugged, field-reliable printers that hold up to weather extremes, and print anywhere, from practically any device. They require car, AC and battery power options, plus mount and carry solutions that meet a broad range of in-vehicle and in-field applications. New mobile printers, such as Brother full-page PocketJet and small-format RuggedJet are engineered to meet the demands of field workers in diverse mobile environments. The ultra-compact RuggedJet 2 Series includes a belt clip that is suited for mobile government workers.

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