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  • GPS?

    Tonight I rode with my County's Sheriff Dept. It was a really good time.

    The deputy I was with bought a gps and computer map program for his squad. (The county issues the squads, so he doesnt share with anyone)

    Anyways, due to the quite large patrol area and primarily working the 'unincorporated areas' he was able to use his gps and map program to its fullest extent. It made responding to calls and finding addresses to serve an OOP much easier.

    Just wondering if anybody here has a gps hooked to their computer, be it either issued or bought yourself?


  • #2
    I just put one in my personal car and love it. If I've never been to a particular location before, I just punch in the address and in addition to showing a marked map, the GPS' voice constantly tells me to turn right here, turn left there, location approaching on the right/left, you have arrived, etc.

    The only drawback I see is that it takes a minute or two to punch in the address. No doubt that extra time will be made up by you getting the best directions to the location but, it you are dispatched on an emergency call you will no doubt feel guilty taking that extra time to program. Other considerations are, when responding to an emergency call will you be able to hear the directional voice over the siren and as you approach the location, and will you lessen officer safety by watching the screen and listening to the GPS voice rather then looking at and evaluating your approaching environment?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


    • #3
      We have GPS installed in all of our cruisers. The plus is that it really helps finding addresses for calls. The drawback is that the command staff can use it to play big brother. They can see when too many cars are in one place, or when somebody is straying from their beat.


      • #4
        I have an issued GPS unit in my G-ride and I love it. The list of ways it can help you is pretty long. Once you start to get some muscle memory for all of the buttons and functions, it is pretty quick to use.


        • #5
          Buddy of mine bought his own laptop for work. Got off of the state forms on it and everything. I was in his car the other day and noticed this yellow box thing on the dash. Asked him what it was and he said it was his GPS that he hooked up to his laptop. It was awesome to say the least. Especially working for an SO as a fairly new deputy, helps him get where he is going fast.
          In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

          In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

          Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

          I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.

          The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.


          • #6
            I rode with Westminster CO PD a couple years ago while on a new PD search. They had a mapping system and GPS in their cars. When we got a call our location and the call location popped up. You could zoom into the call location and since it was based on tax maps you could see all the property lines and see your destination was the third house on the left. You could also see other units on the call with you. On a major call you could see the whole perimeter and adjust your locations appropriately. Supposedly your location wasn't available unless you were on a call or in an emergency. That was a sweet setup.
            I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones


            • #7
              Every unit should have one.


              • #8
                GPS mapping is part of our in-car computer system, but only if we also have a GPS-capable modem & antenna in the car (which 2 of the 3 cars on my Unit have!)

                One of my partners and I were helping out in another town on Saturday - the member in the other town does not have the in-car computer system, so we demonstrated it for him.

                2 of my partners and I were working yesterday, and I could see on the dispatch map where another patrol vehicle, which does not have the in-car computer system, was identified by the dispatcher as being busy with potentially dangerous check. When the investigator was clear, the mark on the map was removed.

                Between going for GPS and all its benefits vs worrying about "Big Brother" by your administration, I would vote for the GPS. If your Agency is THAT anal about what you do, either get your Union on the administration or just make sure you can always justify your actions.
                #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                "Smile" - no!


                • #9
                  Have it.

                  Use it often!

                  Can't work without it, since I always have to deal with land status (who owns the land I am on).
                  Speed and Motion, without Technique...are nothing but a Spasm

                  -A really good DT Instructor


                  • #10
                    I just started researching GPS and mapping software for my own use, with an eye towards convincing the chiefs of the 2 departmens I work for that it's a good idea.

                    In the case of both departments, we are pretty much surrounded by a larger city and, as a part-timer, I don't get the experience in the surrounding streets to know them well. Rather than spend the time looking up streets on a road map (and trying to read 4-point type by a dome light with 37-year-old eyes) when we get called for assistance, I would much prefer the ability to type in an address and get a screen displayed map or directions.

                    I found that you can buy decent mapping software for around $50. For about $150, you can get the software with a laptop-mountable GPS unit. The one downfall so far is that both require a laptop with a CD-ROM drive and our laptops don't have those. At least not yet. Rumor has it that could be changing within the year.

                    If nothing happens soon, I may just spring the $30 for a map program for my Palm.
                    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.


                    • #11
                      I've been using one for years. I'm currently on my 4th version of the Delorme GPS software - each update has been worth getting the new features that they come up with. You can actually zoom in close enough to see all the local businesses, and after clicking a tab, it gives you address and telephone numbers to them. Can't begin to tell you how useful that feature has been. GPS is great to coordinate perimeters too - I just have all the units send me messages with their position, and as the k9 track moves, I can alter the dragnet appropriately. Whenever I'm involved in a pursuit, I just hit the record button, and later in the pursuit critique, I know exactly where I turned, where anything was tossed, etc.


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