Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

December 21, 2013

Police should get used to the GPS microscope

Somebody needs to tell certain police unions that the “privacy-is-dead” reality applies to them as well as the rest of us.

Police departments, with the full support of their unionized workforces, have enthusiastically embraced technology that increases their surveillance powers by orders of magnitude — in many cases for good reason.

Most in the general public support it, as well. We want them to have all reasonable tools to prevent criminals, many of whom are also tech-savvy, from preying on the rest of us.

But now that surveillance technology is focusing on police — in part to make a department’s operations more efficient, effective and safer, but also to monitor the performance and whereabouts of officers on the job — ironically enough, you start hearing words like “invasive” and “intrusive.”

Most recently, that is the case in Boston. The department, as part of a new contract, is planning to have GPS tracking installed in cruisers, and also to install better video monitoring in stations to record how suspects are treated while in custody.

As one anonymous officer put it, while asserting that none of his colleagues supported it, “Who wants to be followed all over the place?”

Well, yeah. Do they think the rest of us enjoy it?

It is unnerving for office workers to know that their every move online can be tracked by their employers, or that video cameras may monitor the length of their bathroom breaks or how long they spend in the cafeteria. The same is true for many snowplow drivers, who know that management is tracking their vehicles to make sure they are doing their routes instead of sitting at the coffee shop.

Boston’s school bus drivers walked off the job in a wildcat strike recently, in protest of GPS tracking in their vehicles.

Text Only
Commentary
  • Trick or treating already? |So there I was, wheeling my cart merrily through the grocery store, whistling while I went on a search for enchilada sauce, when I rounded a turn at the end of an aisle and found myself face-to-face with … A wall of candy. Halloween candy. In Augu

    August 18, 2014

  • Trick or treating already? |So there I was, wheeling my cart merrily through the grocery store, whistling while I went on a search for enchilada sauce, when I rounded a turn at the end of an aisle and found myself face-to-face with … A wall of candy. Halloween candy. In Augu

    August 18, 2014

  • The Ferguson melodrama |Even if the police in Ferguson, Mo., are the brutal occupying force alleged by the protesters there, what do local shop owners have to do with it? In the wake of the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in disputed circumstances, rioters bur

    August 18, 2014

  • The Ferguson melodrama |Even if the police in Ferguson, Mo., are the brutal occupying force alleged by the protesters there, what do local shop owners have to do with it? In the wake of the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in disputed circumstances, rioters bur

    August 18, 2014

  • Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass |One of the worst things about our “divisive” political culture is that we’re wearing out words. We use some of them so constantly that they’ve lost their power. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel of “This is Spinal Tap,” we’ve turned them up to 11 and kept

    August 18, 2014

  • The seven Facebook friends everyone has |Recently, I was told that I’m behind the times because I’m still on Facebook. Just five years ago, I was told I was behind the times because I wasn’t on Facebook. The new “it” social media apps are Instagram, Twitter and a thousand other apps that I

    August 14, 2014

  • A hell of a diplomatic foray |If an Israeli high-level official were caught on a hot mic candidly commenting on Secretary of State John Kerry's ill-fated act of Israel-Hamas peacemaking, he might call it "a hell of a diplomatic foray." Kerry was caught sarcastically describing t

    July 30, 2014

  • Adopting Indiana? Or a 'deadbeat parent'? This past week we’ve learned that the State of Indiana has essentially stiffed 1,400 families who have adopted special needs children. The subsidies they were promised to raise kids in the state’s foster child program have been denied, prompting one

    July 12, 2014

  • Chicago's shooting spree |For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different. For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long

    July 10, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families |Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was a striking mes

    July 7, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Are you worried about the violence in Ferguson, Mo., spreading across the country?

Yes
No
Not concerned one way or the other
     View Results
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read