Police GPS Proposal Meets Resistance
Police Say “GPS Tracking Is Okay For Criminals, But Not Us”
GPS tracking systems are used by law enforcement agencies for a wide variety of applications with the goal of increasing public safety. However, when a proposal was submitted to the city of Lowell, MA regarding the use of vehicle tracking technology to improve fleet management and communication of internal operations of the police force the plan was met with resistance from the union.
Bernard Lynch, the Lowell City Manager, explained that the GPS systems the city would purchase with taxpayer dollars would help improve accountability, allowing the city to easily audit the routes and stops police make. Lynch believes that the live GPS tracking systems will make the police force safer and more efficient. Although the plan that would result in a more integrated and accessible police department has many positive benefits, the Police Union wants nothing to do with the plan that they feel will invade the privacy of officers.
When asked about the GPS tracking proposal, the Police Union President stated that the vehicle tracking plan showed a significant level of mistrust between the city and police department. Clearly, the Police Union President feels it is okay to monitor criminals via GPS tracking technology, but not okay to utilize the same vehicle tracking technology to improve internal operations.
Is the police department and union acting appropriately and mature over the proposed police GPS trackers?
How do you feel about the city monitoring the police to ensure accountability?
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.