GPS and smartphone applications play an important role in law enforcement fleet management & vehicle tracking today. GPS tracking systems help track the movements of police fleet vehicles, investigative targets, contraband, and high-value properties.
Here are five ways police GPS fleet tracking helps to protect the community and the officers serving it:
- Real-Time Location
- Geo-location Tracking
- Real-Time Information Updates During Pursuits
- Historical Data Collection & Curation
- Remote Police Fleet Management
How GPS Fleet Tracking Helps Law Enforcement
GPS units transmit information in real-time, which can greatly improve police performance. GPS tracking systems enable police officers to collect vehicle or asset data from a distance, thus amplifying their ability to observe movements in a wide range of space. Modern GPS telematics tracking systems are extremely advanced, and when local municipality governments choose to invest in this technology, they empower their police force and increase protection within the community.
Real-Time Location Technology
GPS telematics technology allows system managers to track various assets, including police fleet vehicles and police equipment. It can also track stolen vehicles or suspected criminal activity if implemented correctly. Surreptitious installation using external magnetic or internal hardware allows law enforcement to track targeted property. These devices can be programmed to actively ping officers with continuous location information or an alert when movement is detected, for example, in the case of a shipping container believed to hold illicit substances.
Police departments can use geolocation to map their squad jurisdictions and even coordinate with other departments across the county or state lines to cover every geographical location. Then, those same mapped lines can allow police leadership to identify who is operating when and where, and if or when they are overstepping their boundaries.
Geo-location can also help to enhance calls for backup support when on the job. Officers can use geo-location software to determine the fastest route that doesn’t have any obstacles to get to their colleagues as quickly as possible. Geo-location devices can even work when device privacy location settings are blocked via cell tower activation, so they serve as an extra layer of protection for officers.
Information Updates During Pursuits
GPS systems can help police department fleets by providing immediate updates during operations. Police dispatchers and leadership can monitor all vehicles in real time when the force is engaged in a pursuit. Not only is this valuable technology for leadership, but it can also allow all squad cars to see where everyone is at any given time and help officers make quick decisions.
Historical Data Collection
Passive and historical data collection can help to provide accurate records to hold officers and management accountable. Precise reporting can be critical should an officer or entire department be required to present data in court. Often, the courts rely on smartphone application data that can be manipulated, for example, when an officer blocks tracking data for some time. A GPS tracking software system can track vehicles and assets from a central server to corroborate (or show gaps) cell phone data.
Remote Police Fleet Management
Law enforcement fleet managers can also use GPS software to track airborne assets, such as drones. With a remote fleet management system, police departments can see exactly what is happening on the road with real-time Full HD video streaming, in-cab communication, recordings stored in the cloud, and monitoring and tracking driver behavior.
Remote fleet management GPS software for law enforcement can also make recalling data for insurance purposes much easier, so officers are free to keep the streets safe. Fast action to recall data can decrease litigation costs and save time and money in accident reconstruction, which ultimately can be shared with the public to build trust in law enforcement overall.
Case Study: Area law enforcement agencies adopt GPS technology to battle a spike in car thefts
In October 2022, law enforcement agencies in the Miami of Ohio Valley created the Grand Theft Auto Suppression Task Force, bringing together law enforcement from various agencies to track people stealing cars to return vehicles to their rightful owners.
In July 2022, police noticed a massive spike in auto thefts, with a 61% increase in motor vehicle thefts in the City of Dayton, Ohio, alone. With the help of body camera videos and GPS tracking, Task Force recovered seven stolen vehicles.
Police GPS fleet tracking isn’t just to monitor where official vehicles are. When used correctly, they can be the impetus for major police operations. With Geofencing, video, and accurate data, law enforcement can leverage GPS fleet management systems to revolutionize how they work, lower costs, and ultimately keep their communities safe.