The crime rates keep rising making the job harder for law enforcement agents. It requires constant vigilance, proactiveness and alertness to collect intelligence on criminals and crack down on them. Such covert operations require highly advanced tools and the help of GPS technology. GPS tracking is a safe and accurate tool that has multiple applications in the field of law enforcement, fleet management, criminal investigation, officer tracking, suspect tracking and general tracking purposes.
A large number of federal offices are now making the use of GPS tracking in their law enforcement activities. The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as well as the police stations, sheriff offices and metro/transit departments across the country have adopted GPS technology.
Listed below are a few ways the law enforcement authorities can benefit from employing GPS tracking in their work:
- Tracking a suspect requires dedicated staff, company time and resources but with the use of GPS technology you can track the suspects at any time and place without having to continuously follow them physically. It not only saves costs but also conserves fuel and makes officers available for other more important tasks.
- GPS trackers make it safer for officers to operate because it can be used to follow their every move. The GPS trackers can send out SOS signals in case of emergency so that other officers can respond to them at the time of need.
- The GPS trackers can also be installed in the vehicles and make fleet management easier. The authorities can know where all units are at all times and efficiently allocate tasks and dispatch units in the time of need.
- GPS tracking makes response times shorter as they provide directions and also real-time traffic updates allowing a unit to reach the site using the shortest route available.
- GPS also allows you to customize the travel route and reduces engine idle time as well as provides calculations on the mileage and vehicle performance saving on costs and helping keep the car maintained.
- GPS trackers can also be used to track packages, retail merchandise and other shipments involved in criminal investigations.
- Navigating through harsh weather conditions and physical environments such as rugged terrains becomes easier with GPS trackers.
- GPS trackers are also equipped with two-way texting and image sharing providing a constant line of communication.
- It is easier to collect evidence on criminals and suspects.
- The sensors of the GPS device can detect light, movement, sound which allow the officers to take swift action.
- The accurate surveillance makes it easier to incriminate felons
- The reduction in fuel consumption also leads to drop in carbon emissions and other toxic pollutants making the fleet more environment-friendly.
Challenges with adopting GPS technology:
GPS technology has many benefits and is becoming increasingly popular but there are some concerns that are associated with adoption and usage:
- The installation procedure for GPS trackers is complex.
- Law enforcement authorities have to deal with legal complications and ethical dilemmas when monitoring suspects without their knowledge.
- The battery life on the devices is brief which can lead to an abrupt halt in surveillance.
- GPS systems and fleet tracking devices are involved in a high implementation cost which may not be feasible for logistic operators especially those who have to manage a smaller fleet.
- It is unable to help track suspects who are indoors or during unclear skies.
- The GPS tracking devices may not be able to withstand the brunt of rigorous covert activities.
Solutions to the Problems:
These challenges can be overcome if you have a proper understanding of the GPS tracking technology and its application allowing you to choose the correct equipment.
- The latest generation of GPS devices is small, portable and easy to hide. They do not require complex installation either.
- An investigation with a warrant can use a GPS tracker to legally follow suspects.
- Batteries are also equipped with a backup option to provide continuous GPS tracking.
- There are many GPS tracking device manufacturers that provide consultancy services in case you need to upgrade the fleet tracking system on your law enforcement units. They can analyze the situation and explain the impact a GPS tracking system can have on the efficiency of your operations. Using this information you can make an informed choice and smartly plan your GPS expenditure.
- The RFID, satellite and cellular technology in the new generation of trackers can also track the indoor movements of a suspect.
- GPS trackers are now waterproof, rugged and shockproof with protective covers.