By Greg Bartlett
Police departments can consist of just a few individuals up to thousands. Keeping track of each vehicle in the police force and where each officer is in relation to an emergency site can be difficult for any department, but especially for the bigger ones. Some police departments are turning to GPS fleet tracking to help monitor their vehicles and decrease response time.
GPS fleet tracking is a good management tool which can help ensure that police officers are not misusing their vehicles, driving over the speed limit when not responding to a call, or claiming to be somewhere they’re not. The GPS units will inform the department about where the vehicle has been, what stops it’s made, and what speed it was going. In fact, a unit can even be set up to immediately alert the department if a specific speed is exceeded or if the car goes outside particular boundaries.
But the biggest benefit of GPS tracking for police departments is in dispatching. Dispatchers no longer have to wonder where each vehicle is or make hazy estimates; the GPS units will pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle. Dispatchers will be able to determine which vehicle is closest to the emergency and the GPS device can even help the driver find the fastest route to the site.
GPS fleet tracking units can be very beneficial for citizens by decreasing response time since the dispatcher can send the nearest vehicle, but it is also helpful for police officers. The department will be able to know exactly where an officer is and can send the closest backup in an emergency. In a high-speed chase or other situation where the police officer is busy but needs to keep the department and fellow officers advised as to his or her whereabouts, the GPS unit can do the tracking and location job for the officer. If backup is needed, other police officers will already be aware of the officer’s location and can immediately head out to help.
The GPS information can even be used for mapping purposes, noting where crimes most often occur and allowing department to be aware of which areas are most in need of patrol.
For police departments, GPS fleet tracking can be the answer to management and dispatching problems. By being aware of the location of each vehicle and being able to send the nearest vehicle to an emergency site, dispatchers can use GPS to provide a quicker response and thus, hopefully, decrease crime and increase safety.