How GPS Tracking Helps Police Fight Crime

July 7, 2017 Published by

Police action is tactile and coordinated, and it’s that way for a reason: it helps minimize hostility, defuse the situation and keep any collateral damage to a minimum. Take a look at any newsworthy car chase, for example. You’re never going to see the police playing bumper cars with the fleeing vehicle! Instead, they’re blocking exits, setting down spike strips, barricading spaces and evacuating at-risk areas.

How are the police able to get so much done, in such a coordinated manner? It’s all thanks to GPS tracking devices. And it’s not just for car chases, either—GPS plays an integral role in any law enforcement action.

Gathering evidence

A known drug kingpin is hard at work managing lower-level dealers throughout the city. The police don’t have enough on the kingpin to take him down, but with more evidence of his network and cooperation of his dealers, they’ll be able to build a case.

Using GPS tracking devices, the police tag the vehicles of dealers, allowing them to mark stockpiles of drugs all over the city. Then, they plan a raid, taking major quantities of drugs into evidence and apprehending several dealers who are willing to turn state’s evidence against the big boss drug dealer.

Tracking parolees

Police want to keep track of a newly released inmate who’s getting out on parole. They have reason to suspect he may go back to his nefarious ways. They outfit him with a GPS tracking device that has a list of preapproved coordinates that are identified as unauthorized visitation places. He’s free to live his life after prison, but if he goes anywhere he’s not supposed to—any of the coordinates blacklisted by his GPS device—the device will alert police to a violation of his parole, and he’ll be back to living behind bars.

Coordination of police action

There’s a domestic dispute being called in on 4th Street, a robbery on Maple Avenue and a drunk and disorderly call from the bar on 9th Place. There are two cop cars in the immediate area of one call, but the other two calls need police presence. Using GPS, a dispatcher can locate nearby cars and send them to locations appropriately. Or, they can help coordinate existing police presence to ensure situations in multiple areas are minimized.

The modern age of police operations

GPS tracking devices can be used both actively and passively by local law enforcement. In some situations, they’re a catalyst for police action; in others, they’re the method by which a coordinated response is formulated. No matter how it’s being used, however, GPS has become an integral tool that’s deployed by police each and every day.

Without GPS we might not know the best route to take to a crime scene or where a stolen vehicle is headed. Instead of allocating time, attention and resources on finding the problem, police can instead focus on solving it in the best possible way. From saving lives to stopping crime, global positioning is behind it all.

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This post was written by Malcolm Rosenfeld

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