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Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS 409

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the funny-thing-about-that-... dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Boston Globe reports that the pending use of GPS tracking devices, slated to be installed in Boston police cruisers, has many officers worried that commanders will monitor their every move. Boston police administrators say the system gives dispatchers the ability to see where officers are, rather than wait for a radio response and supervisors insist the system will improve their response to emergencies. Using GPS, they say, accelerates their response to a call for a shooting or an armed robbery. 'We'll be moving forward as quickly as possible,' says former police commissioner Edward F. Davis. 'There are an enormous amount of benefits. . . . This is clearly an important enhancement and should lead to further reductions in crime.' But some officers said they worry that under such a system they will have to explain their every move and possibly compromise their ability to court street sources. 'No one likes it. Who wants to be followed all over the place?' said one officer who spoke anonymously because department rules forbid police from speaking to the media without authorization. 'If I take my cruiser and I meet [reluctant witnesses] to talk, eventually they can follow me and say why were you in a back dark street for 45 minutes? It's going to open up a can of worms that can't be closed.' Meanwhile civil libertarians are relishing the rank and file's own backlash. 'The irony of police objecting to GPS technology for privacy reasons is hard to miss in the aftermath of United States v. Jones,' says Woodrow Hartzog. 'But the officers' concerns about privacy illustrate just how revealing GPS technology can be. Departments are going to have to confront the chilling effect this surveillance might have on police behavior.'"
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Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS

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  • They are right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:04AM (#45462271)

    "has many officers worried that commanders will monitor their every move"

    That's sorta the point of this operation.
    We know it sucks if you're just in a doughnut-shop and a robbery happens next door.
    This will just nudge you to take the robbery first, the doughnut second.

    As for the 45 minute dark alley meetings with confidential informants, you can be seen there with the naked eye!
    Give your CI a fucking burner-phone, we're in the 3. millennium.

    • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:13AM (#45462327) Homepage

      "Why were you in the alley for 45 minutes?"
      "I had an informant who didn't want to be seen talking"
      "Oh, okay."

      I don't see the problem here. You're on the job, so you should be doing your job. If a supervisor wants to question the way you do it and monitor your movements, fine. Let them... then they have no excuse for any poor performance, because they've been watching it the whole time, right?

      • If a cop typically spends a couple hours out of an eight-hour shift courting informants, and it's getting good results, then bravo.
        • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:53AM (#45462607) Homepage
          Exactly. Every supervisor I've had for the past decade has known that I read Slashdot on the job. They also know that I deliver good results on time, and work extra without hesitation if needed. It should always be the results that matter.
          • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:09AM (#45462719)

            We had just started putting GPS on our delivery trucks about a year before I left my last job. The guys who did their route and got back to base in the expected amount of time were never checked unless a customer requested an ETA. However, we had a few guys who always seemed to take a lot longer, so we checked their GPS routes much more often and found stuff like two hour lunches, or going thirty miles out of their way to stop at home... stuff that really impacted our delivery schedules and the workload on their coworkers, not to mention limiting the total number of deliveries (which is to say, income) we could make from a single truck and driver.

            tl;dr: Guys who delivered results were rarely monitored at all, and if they were, issues were usually ignored. Guys that didn't deliver good results could no longer give bullshit excuses and were dealt with appropriately.

            • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:10AM (#45463401)

              I have no problem with cops being tracked while on the job. I actually think it's an excellent idea. What I am worried about is the slippery slope. We've seen it with drug testing: at first, it was only the people who REALLY needed to have their shit together, like air traffic controllers. Then it was train conductors. And school bus drivers. And truck drivers. Now, it's just indiscriminate: janitors, secretaries, nurses, accountants... (although strangely enough, the managers who oversee these workers usually don't have to piss in a cup.)

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by NatasRevol (731260)

                School bus drivers don't need to have their shit together?

                If there was ever an actual 'think of the children' need, that would be it.

      • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:53AM (#45463227)

        Dark Alley. 45 minutes. "Informants."

        Uh huh. I think they misspelled prostitutes.

        And second, police on patrol (the article said cruisers). Do police detectives (not the type that write tickets) have cruisers? Idk, I'm no expert. But I know ticket writing police ain't taking down drug rings and shit. They patrol the streets. They don't have "informants".

        • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by boristdog (133725) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:09AM (#45463387)

          I used to hang out with a woman who was a police dispatcher in a fairly major city. She had to know where the cops were at all times so she could call the closest one to any incident that may occur.

          She said she did not know of one cop in town that wasn't banging a stripper or a hooker on the side. Most strippers and call girls will have "their" cop who would watch their back and look the other way for a little quid pro quo.

          So yeah, having the fact that they park in back of the local "gentleman's" club for a half hour twice a week as public record might cause them some concern.

          • Re:They are right. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:21AM (#45463501) Journal

            Exactly. I can't imagine situations where people are doing the right thing, that they have reason to show concern. If anything, it should defend them further.

            Pretty typical of cops: "The more we can be held accountable, the worse it must be for us! Woe unto us!" as opposed to "Holy shit, I can actually do my job now and not be told I'm not - via proof".

          • Re:They are right. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by coinreturn (617535) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:24AM (#45463519)

            I used to hang out with a woman who was a police dispatcher in a fairly major city. She had to know where the cops were at all times so she could call the closest one to any incident that may occur.

            She said she did not know of one cop in town that wasn't banging a stripper or a hooker on the side. Most strippers and call girls will have "their" cop who would watch their back and look the other way for a little quid pro quo.

            So yeah, having the fact that they park in back of the local "gentleman's" club for a half hour twice a week as public record might cause them some concern.

            And with good reason. This quid pro quo is abuse of power.

    • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:57AM (#45462637) Homepage Journal
      It is for their safety. If they are in one spot for a few minutes, and not responding, help can be sent immediately. There is no reason why we should put these hero first responders in unnecessary jeopardy.
    • Totally unhackable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:26AM (#45462897)
      OK, guys, no cruisers within 20 minutes from here - let's hit them.
      • by korbulon (2792438)

        OK, guys, no cruisers within 20 minutes from here - let's hit them.

        Do you live in Nebraska?

      • by tftp (111690)

        OK, guys, no cruisers within 20 minutes from here - let's hit them.

        Officers are dispatched, and are reporting their location, all the time - by talking to the dispatcher, usually over an open channel. (At best it's P25.) Their location is known well enough for a criminal, but not well enough for the backup (especially if something happens on the way to destination.)

        However the GPS data can be easily encrypted, and it will be always correct and up to date. A criminal cannot easily intercept and interpr

    • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@carp a n e t . net> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:26AM (#45462899) Homepage

      Except, most cops don't have CIs. Most cops are just sitting around looking to write tickets for minor traffic violations either to make his unofficial quota or to get a bonus in his pay check (varies by jurisdiction).

      Frankly, i think I would rather they are off in the back of some parking lot, parked cruisers window to window so they can chat and eat donuts for a few hours than out there "doing their job", because every minute they spend not doing their job, is a minute somebody isn't getting fined for nothing of consequence or arrested for smoking pot while brown.

    • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MacDork (560499) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:39AM (#45463687) Journal

      This will just nudge you to take the robbery first, the doughnut second.

      Do you really think that's what this is about? I doubt it. Having the location of every cop in town will be very useful to those in charge, but not for the reasons you think. The guys on the ground aren't the only ones subject to corruption and malice. The mob will have an inside guy that will be able to tell them exactly where every cop is at any given moment.

      I'd rather have cops eating doughnuts than having the mob knowing with absolute certainty that they are not eating doughnuts at the diversionary shooting on the other side of town. In fact, if I wanted to start intimidating cops, there's nothing better than knowing their exact location at all times.

      Don't let your schadenfreude lead you to rally for something stupid. This sounds like a divide and conquer technique to me... "They're watching you!! Serves them right! Let's watch them now too." The correct course of action is to restore the rights of the group who lost them, not take the rights of everyone else away.

    • Re:They are right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:58PM (#45464529)
      Yeah, but C.I.'s that give B.J.'s in return for a free ride to push all the @$$ they can on the corner - with a little blow thrown in - yeah, we need to watch these guys. We give them authority (a.k.a., power), along with the extra power should go a little extra oversight, eh?

      As a matter of fact, sum it up that way: the more official power or authority an individual has to use, the greater the need to prioritize monitoring that individual over that individual's personal right to privacy. I.e., a cop has a certain authority to alter people's lives, he gets watched. POTUS has an incredible amount of authority to alter the lives of all Americans, he gets watched 24x7. Yeah - the more cream you get to drink from the authority cup, the more vinegar you have to sip from the surveillance cup. That way, nobody watches street people defecate behind the bushes - but we sure ought to be watching the Bush's when they defecate on the US Constitution.

  • Funny that. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:06AM (#45462277) Journal

    pots and kettles etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:07AM (#45462283)

    This is pretty ironic to say the least. They loved the idea that they could track anyone at any time but they don't like the idea of being tracked. I feel no sympathy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:08AM (#45462285)

    Their commanders? If cops can't trust other cops, why should the public trust cops?

    • Isn't it already the job of dispatch to know where an officer is at all times when they are on duty?
    • by Smauler (915644) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:03AM (#45462675)

      Police are civil servants, and paid for by our taxes. Why not have them completely accountable and visible all the time they are on the job?

      Straight to internet feeds... no watchers.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:33AM (#45462981) Homepage

        Police are civil servants, and paid for by our taxes. Why not have them completely accountable and visible all the time they are on the job?

        And, since in private industry it has been repeatedly determined that you have no right to privacy while on the job, why is a police officer any different?

        Nobody else gets to have their privacy respected while driving around in the company car.

        Given that they can throw you in jail or shoot you, it's a much higher stakes game than if the delivery guy stops for lunch.

        Sorry, but this is no different than what the rest of us have to live with.

    • by gmclapp (2834681) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:00PM (#45463897)
      Out of mod points... More to this point though, the commanders obviously don't trust the street cops to self-regulate. So not only does this show that the higher ups don't trust street cops, but that the street cops are doing something that they don't want monitored. I think that this GPS tracking will have a lot of the same benefits that dashboard cameras had. More accountability for cops. If it leads to one fewer false conviction or one fewer case of police brutality, I'm on board.
  • Aww, what's wrong? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:11AM (#45462297) Journal

    Poor powiceman. Don't worry. After all, if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, right?

    • by gmclapp (2834681) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:03PM (#45463917)
      My thoughts exactly. This whole thing reeks of hypocrisy. Turns out cops don't like their rights violated? Huh... weird...

      That said, I don't think public servants should have a right to privacy while on duty.

      To police: You can have your privacy or your handcuffs. You pick.
  • Really? 45 minutes in a dark alley 'interviewing' a reluctant witness? THAT'S your best argument against technology that could locate you instantly if your life's in peril? Someone is going to be watching the watchers in Beantown.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:13AM (#45462315) Homepage

    while performing their duty.

    They're expected to fill out a duty log detailing everything which they did.
    They're expected to accurately and promptly reply when the dispatcher asks where they are and what they're doing.
    If their supervisor shows up on site and asks what's happening they are obligated to comply.
    If an elected official whose duties include supervising those in their chain of command shows up, they are obligated to comply w/ reasonable requests for information.

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:17AM (#45462357) Homepage Journal

      On top of that I would add something largely forgotten: they are acting the public's trust and in the name of the government that is (at least still in name) are acting on the behalf of the public. Every person that pays into that trust with taxes should have the right to know what is going on and hold officials accountable.

      Police departments attract people that like to use authority over others and many officers forget they are operating in the public trust. There should no expectation of privacy at all, and I think the Federal courts constant cutting down of rules and laws meant to keep police actions private backs that idea up.

      • I'd only argue that I would replace "pays taxes" with "citizenship". Lots of foreign visitors pay taxes of one sort or another, but its citizens who the cops are primarily in charge of protecting. Likewise, not all citizens can, do or are able to pay taxes but should still be able to hold the police accountable (eg. underage people, low income people, etc).

  • by vawwyakr (1992390) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:13AM (#45462317)
    So why were you driving a 100 miles an hour down the interstate when you weren't responding to a call? I see it pretty often around here...no siren, just one cop driving down the shoulder of the road passing traffic.....
    • At least where we live, an admittedly small sampling, there seems to exist a preponderance of entitlement in those that enforce the law: it doesn't apply equally to them. I believe that is one of the many perks of those who swerve and neglect.
    • by oobayly (1056050) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:31AM (#45462455)

      Tell me about it, in the UK a Policeman was let off doing 159mph [bbc.co.uk] as he was the "creme de la creme of drivers". They completely ignored the fact that other drivers have no ability to deal with people driving at over twice the expected speed on a motorway.

      This happened to me on a dual carriageway (70mph limit) - I looked in my mirror and saw a car in the distance and estimated that I had enough time to pull out and overtake the lorry. By the time I'd started indicating and pulling out, a Nobel was on top of me - based on the distance covered he must have been doing about 140mph.

  • Gee officers... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by putaro (235078) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:14AM (#45462329) Journal

    If you have nothing to hide you shouldn't mind if you're being watched, now should you?

  • by dandaman32 (1056054) <dan@enanocms. o r g> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:15AM (#45462339)

    There's a reason this ended up on the ACLU's website.

    If you read TFA, Boston uses automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). Since each readout is logged and timestamped, this log data correlated with location history for cruisers could be used to build a massive location history database with very good coverage.

    Barring that, as a public servant, a police officer is not entitled to privacy while on the job. As they are granted powers most people are not, they must also expect to be held accountable for their actions.

    When off the clock, an officer is entitled to privacy like every other citizen. Keep in mind, the GPSes are installed in the cruisers. They're not ankle bracelets for crying out loud. If they're on foot patrol (do cops still do that?) the red dot on the dispatcher's map will show their car's location. The question mostly remains, then, do Boston cops typically drive their cruisers home, or leave them at the station and drive their personal cars home?

    Since the goal of this tracking is to make 911 dispatching more efficient, the simplest solution is just to not record historic location data - show it in real time, and that's it. This mitigates tthe data mining and privacy issues while still giving 911 the tools they need.

  • by Hrshgn (595514)

    Give the officers the ability to turn off the GPS tracking momentarily (undercover mode) and both sides should be happy.

  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:16AM (#45462345)

    'If I take my cruiser and I meet [reluctant witnesses] to talk, eventually they can follow me and say why were you in a back dark street for 45 minutes? It's going to open up a can of worms that can't be closed.'

    Then moron, you log and report it like any other part of a proper investigation, and your commanding officer will be fine. If however you were on that street using your authority to extort sex from a drug addict prostitute, I can see why you are concerned.

    Personally, I think all law enforcement officers, with exception possibly of undercover operations should have constant GPS and video surveillance of them (perhaps wearing google glass). Unless it is sensitive information to a current investigation it should be public domain. Once an investigation is complete the same shoud apply.

    Law enforcement types tend to be abusive bullies that think they are doing things for the good of others, much like the father/spouse that is beating you 'because I love you'. There is less and less accountability for law enforcement, we need to change that.

  • by Soluzar (1957050) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:17AM (#45462351) Homepage
    Maybe if you're conducting the "interview" with the "reluctant" witness with your fists, then you're hesitant to tell the superior officers about it.
  • ... so... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ImOuttaHere (2996813) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:17AM (#45462353)

    ... the watcher is watched and finds out they don't like it? Well, well...

    I'm in the midst of reading a book on Victorian England. It's interesting to learn a little about how policing came into being. No surprise to me that from the very beginning, policing had nothing to do with protecting and serving anyone but the monied classes. Policing has _always_ been about subduing the restless masses. [Hey! I'm a poet and don't know it!!!]

  • Awww... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:19AM (#45462371) Homepage Journal

    ... & here I am playing the world smallest violin for these poor, put-upon police officers.

  • they'll have their freedom to do what they want restricted, so of course they're outraged. That's really the only issue here.

  • 'If I take my cruiser and I meet [reluctant witnesses] to talk, eventually they can follow me and say why were you in a back dark street for 45 minutes?'

    This is where you pick the dark back street behind the donut shop.

  • Bostonian here (Score:4, Informative)

    by LeepII (946831) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:29AM (#45462441)
    As a Bostonian this makes me happy. Maybe the cops sleeping in their cars will now have to work for a living. Having worked downtown for years I know exactly where and when to go to find a cop hiding and asleep in his car.
  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:36AM (#45462471) Homepage Journal

    Dear Public Servants: If you're not doing anything wrong, then there shouldn't be a problem.

  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:36AM (#45462475) Homepage
    All the field technicians have company supplied phones that have GPS tracking enabled. Their supervisor can track them via a map display and their movements are logged and retained. They also are dispatched via those phones and enter their time and material accounting per job that way. It's very efficient. Do they like it? No, not very much, but it's part of the deal if you work as a field technician for this company with over 30,000 employees world-wide. If you don't like it, don't work in this well-paid industry. All of the competitors are doing the same thing.
  • The job of being a lookout just got easier, if a bit more technical. In addition to a portable scanner, they'd need a smartphone or some other gadget to watch the red dots on the map.
  • Meanwhile in Canada (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I work in Law Enforcement in Canada (not a cop) but I can tell you that up here, in my area anyways; we have GPS not only in the cars, but on each officers individual RADIO. Hell even the meter maids have GPS in their radio. Its an officer safety question, when you make an Officer needs assistance call dispatch immediately knows exactly where you are, and everyone else can respond accordingly. I've never heard any officer complain about it.

    It has other uses too, for example the bylaw/parking officer can

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      I'd bet dollars to donuts that Canadian cops are a bit more on the up & up than Bostonian cops.

  • Perhaps we should extend this to any government official. Make them wear a GPS device on their person that at any time the general public can track their every move.
  • Oh the irony ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tgd (2822) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:46AM (#45462539)

    Of Boston's NPR this morning having a series on prostitution in Boston, and talking about the frequency that Boston cops are seen ... well, lets just say not arresting the girls ...

    No wonder they don't want GPS in the cars ...

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#45462571) Homepage

    Plain and simple.

    Between cops who think they can confiscate your camera and delete the images, cops who file an incident report only to have amateur video show what really happened, the fact that they want to have warrantless wiretapping and GPS tracking, and generally a lot of bad behavior -- these days citizens have very little reason to trust cops.

    Either the perception is they're outright lying to us, or that they're crooked and on the take, or just generally willing to abuse their authority.

    I'm sure there are many good an honest cops. But there's also a fair few which seem anything but.

    How often has there been an officer involved shooting, which eventually turns out to be a complete misuse of force which we never would have known about without something catching it on video to tell us what really happened?

    I'm of the opinion cops should be absolutely tracked on GPS, and should also be wearing cameras to record their interactions with the public. And in a world where the government wants to spy on everything we do, I have no sympathy for police who want to be able to be off the record and leave it entirely to the story they tell us to define the truth.

    Often these days one is left with the impression that there's enough cops who are just thugs with badges that you more or less have to assume we're better off by closely watching what they do instead of just taking them at face value.

    Because there's been at least half a dozen news stories in the last few years where the police have been shown to be lying, and just circling the wagons to come up with the official story when they do something wrong.

  • Funny timing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LostMyBeaver (1226054) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#45462573)
    I passed an unmarked a few hours ago, looked at the cops inside and just shook my head and thought "Somehow, the criminals don't scare me like these guys do."

    So many cops have such a "Bad Boy" look these days. They carry themselves as if they're mean and tough. And frankly, I couldn't imagine asking one for help. Last year, I was in North Carolina and was lost and my phone battery was dead. I walked up to an officer and politely asked him if he could point me towards the local train station. He abruptly pointed and walked away. I eventually asked someone who looked like a criminal as I was out of options and he gave me good directions and a light for my cigarette.

    I think cops who are used to a little too much freedom might need this.
    • It's part of their training. In fact, it's part of basic psychology. To control a situation, you have to be ready at any moment to command, and working from a position of strength is far more useful than working from a position of deliberation when you're talking about even a relatively peaceful crowd. That's not to say you didn't happen to ask an asshole where the train station was. However; if he was in the process of tracking anything out of the ordinary, your request falls just below "I don't care" on

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @09:50AM (#45462585)

    Naw, it's just typical union mentality that gets in the way of something like quicker response time. This means that resources get used more efficiently, reducing crime and not having to incur additional costs such as more police. That's contrary to labor practice which is let's hire more people. Or they could just be trying to find the best doughnut/coffee shops in town. Does this mean when the police get caught up in all the "police state" surveillance there may actually be some thoughts of saying we've gone to far? Naw, the Administration and the Defense contractors have too much vested interest in selling all those drones and cameras and license plate trackers. So, cops of Boston, consider this a jobs program but not for you but for all those oinks in DC living off of our Tax Dollars.

  • chilling? Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@carp a n e t . net> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:42AM (#45463087) Homepage

    'But the officers' concerns about privacy illustrate just how revealing GPS technology can be. Departments are going to have to confront the chilling effect this surveillance might have on police behavior.'"

    Normally chilling effects are bad, but, I have long felt police behaviour could use a serious chilling effect, maybe even a freezing one.

    However, that was always just my feeling, now that there is some data: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/body-cameras-revolutionizing-police-accountability-video/ [theliberta...public.com]

    When police know actions are being recorded, a 60% drop in use of force. Amazing how people's actions change when there is a credible witness.

  • by DFDumont (19326) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @10:49AM (#45463171)

    Those who are employed as public servants, be they police or fire or even plain old government workers, should expect to be held to a higher standard. You are working for the public, not some company or even some NPO. You work for everyone. With that comes an additional level of responsibility, and thus additional scrutiny.
    I find it disturbing when a police cruiser is being driven recklessly, particularly when the lights aren't flashing. I similarly find it amusing that police don't want to be monitored - given recent stories about officers caught spending their patrol time sleeping. (Do a Google search. Its rampant enough that you'll find plenty of hits) If the GPS says the cruiser hasn't moved for the past 60 minutes, we probably know what's going on.
    As to the remarks herein about attitudes of officers towards the citizenry, I concur. Every interaction I've had with uniformed officers has been identical. I'm the idiot for asking directions. I'm the one at fault for whatever is their current interest. I'm the criminal. I'm the one that needs to be 'dealt with'. Whatever happened to "Serve and Protect"?
    Finally, we have far too many police. If the only thing your officers have to do is to sit along side the roads and point a radar gun, then you have too many police. Police unions will never back down from forcing city and county governments to hire ever more patrolmen. It is counter to their interests. However the number of patrolmen on staff should be dictated by the crime rate and the response requirements of the community - not its population.

  • by cffrost (885375) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:00AM (#45463311) Homepage

    The poor dears... Coppers can never catch a break, can they? Like when they accidentally empty their magazines into some scary/scared-looking family and their trained attack-poodle because they smashed down the wrong... like, 'cause the family was living at the wrong address, even though it was obviously an accident, they still get swapped on deir poow widdle wists... even though they got a suspicious-looking animal off the streets. It ain't right, god damn it.

    *sniff*

    Now my Boston cream doughnut's turned into a Boston stream doughnut, 'ca... well, 'cause it's all soggy with tears! :o(

    *weeps to bagpipe music*

    I know... I'll go shatter some poor asshole's life, that always cheers me up! :S

  • by kilodelta (843627) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:30AM (#45463591) Homepage
    In Providence, RI about a decade ago. To my knowledge, all the cruisers have GPS in them today.

    But it sort of reminds me back about five years ago. I was working in a state government office and part of my duties were to occasionally glance through the proxy logs. One day I note some sort of egregious behavior on the part of our Chief of Staff and so I bring it to the unit Director where I'm told "We do nothing about it." I tarried with "So does this apply to everyone?". No answer.

    So from that point forward, nobody was watching proxy traffic. We eventually threw up a DansGuardian server but we exempted the upper administration and I.T. So essentially the stooges in other units couldn't go to certain places.
  • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @11:37AM (#45463653)

    Remember, this is the state where a citizen who was being harassed recorded the officer, and was convicted of a crime for breaking the state's law against recording police. This is the state where all the courts, all the way through the state supreme court, upheld that travesty.

    This is also the state that pulled the same shit years later on a lawyer, who then skipped the state courts and went straight to federal court, who had very very unkind things to say about that law and the state supreme court ;-)

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:29PM (#45464213)
    why would cops think that they would be excluded in a police state?
  • by Triv (181010) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:33PM (#45464257) Journal

    You guys don't get it - cops aren't against this because it'll catch them breaking the law, they do that all the time now with impunity. They're against it because their boss will be able to see them taking naps in parking lots.

    The only way you get to a cop is to threaten to take away their OT, tenure, or pension.

    I think that's ass-backwards, but I guess that's just me.

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