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How Fleet Tracking Can Help Solve Crimes Brian Dziuk | Feb 5, 2019 11:41:00 AM

First responders must act quickly and efficiently when protecting the public. Every second that passes could mean the difference between a person living or dying. GPS fleet tracking for public safety is one solution that has helped law enforcement reduce their response times while also protecting the safety of their fellow police officers and other first responders.

Fleet tracking is a highly effective law enforcement solution for improving fleet efficiency when solving crimes. It provides a wealth of data that allows public safety fleet managers to make better-informed decisions when dispatching emergency services. To better understand the benefits fleet tracking offers when solving crimes, here is a comprehensive list of how GPS tracking can help law enforcement avoid mistakes when dispatching police officers.

Monitor the Location of Officer Units in the Field

In an emergency situation, every second matters. Law enforcement can use fleet tracking to ensure each police officer stays within their assigned zone to prevent the absence of police presence in the case of an emergency. By monitoring the location of police cruisers, dispatchers can quickly identify which officers are closest to a reported crime scene area or emergency and assign units to respond immediately.

GPS tracking can also improve fleet efficiency by helping police officers avoid detours or congested areas that will delay their arrival. Live traffic data is analyzed and continually updated to provide optimal route possibilities by:

  • Identifying the fastest routes,
  • Noting where accidents have occurred, and
  • Where other slowdowns are happening.

Enhance Communication with Law Enforcement Services

Dispatchers who miscommunicate when giving directions to law enforcement services can dramatically delay their response time. Being unable to provide the correct information to police officers about a crime in progress puts public safety at risk and reduces the likelihood of law enforcement officials locating and arresting suspected criminals.

With fleet tracking, dispatchers receive live, up-to-date traffic information and identify the fastest routes to take to reach the crime scene. This feature is especially helpful for officers in hot pursuit of a suspect during a car chase. Dispatchers can accurately direct and navigate police officers using their fleet management software dashboard and warn them of potential road hazards. Officers traveling in unfamiliar areas can also maintain constant communication and receive accurate instructions to avoid getting lost.

Other police activity that can be monitored with fleet tracking for first responders includes:

  • The arrival and departure times from the crime scenes;
  • The total hours of operation of police cruisers to ensure regular fleet vehicle maintenance; and
  • Any reckless driving behaviors from police officers.

Track Criminal and Police Activity

In the case of the United States vs. Katzin, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled law enforcement officials are allowed to use GPS tracking devices to trace a suspect’s vehicle and monitor their activity once a warrant is properly obtained— which prevents law enforcement from trampling on a person’s Fourth Amendment rights that protect them from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” GPS tracking is highly useful when needing to track suspicious cargo and monitor other criminal activity, especially when performing covert operations. The extended battery life of GPS tracking devices is perfect for long-term surveillance.

Two features offered with Rastrac’s fleet management software that can also help monitor police and criminal activity are StreetComplete and the geofencing tool. With StreetComplete, public safety fleet managers can easily track what areas were patrolled, when, and by whom from the color-coded live tracking mapping system. As time passes, the colored routes “age” to indicate how long it has been since an area was last patrolled.

Using this tool, along with geofencing, can allow law enforcement officials to set up automatic alerts that will notify them when a tagged police cruiser enters or leaves a designated area, such as a high-crime area. This fleet tracking solution can also minimize the risk of police vehicle theft, or help track a stolen fleet vehicle so first responders can quickly track it down.

Law enforcement needs to achieve high levels of fleet efficiency to respond to emergency situations and protect public safety. Learn how fleet tracking can help solve crimes by downloading our free GPS tracking solutions guide for law enforcement professionals.

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