The police chief in Welsh, La., is tracking patrol cars, including his own.
The global positioning system he’s installing on all squad cars will improve response time and safety – and will let him know when citizens’ complaints are valid, Chief Marcus Crochet told The American Press.
“If a certain neighborhood complains about lack of patrols, I can go back and see when and how many times an officer patrolled that area,” he said. “And when somebody has a question about what the officers were doing or if we were patrolling last night or just sitting in the office all night we can pull that information up.”
The GPS devices provide reports for each vehicle, including instant e-mails and text messages on speed and location. Crochet can be instantly notified when a vehicle leaves the city limits or a certain area.
Several law enforcement agencies in the area have similar devices, including the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office and Jennings Police Department.
If someone calls to say an officer is speeding, the system will show if that’s true.
Dispatchers will soon be able to see where the cars are when emergency calls come in, so they can send the officer who’s closest.
The devices also help improve safety of the officers by pinpointing their last location, he said.
“If an officer is out of unit and the dispatcher cannot get a response, we can send someone to check on him,” he said.
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