GPS tracking has long been a tool used in the effective deployment of police and fire fleets, helping to enhance dispatch operations and improve response times. However, recent disciplinary proceedings and proposed legislation have fostered opposition in how GPS is monitoring first responder personnel. Let the “Big Brother” debate begin!

GPS Tracking Meeting Resistance From Police and Fire Unions
GPS Tracking Meeting Resistance From Police and Fire Unions

For years, GPS tracking technology was a tool only feasible for federal, and sometimes state, government agencies to take advantage of. In its infancy, before tracking devices and services had reached the mainstream public, it simply wasn’t an affordable option for anyone other than government. However, as GPS tracking has become more widely accepted and adopted, supply has risen to meet demand, and cost has been driven down to acceptable levels for private enterprise and individual consumers. With the growing adoption of GPS tracking technology comes increased familiarity with how the system works. City officials and the general public now want access to the monitoring data to serve as a system of oversight of police and fire personnel, and to facilitate disciplinary action in the event that misconduct is discovered. Obviously, these requests are being met with heated opposition from police and fire officials and unions.

Law enforcement officials are making some compelling arguments against the release of the information. Their position is that by publishing the historical GPS data, patrol routines would be made readily available for all to see, potentially putting valuable intelligence in the hands of the criminals. The police and fire unions are also throwing their hat in the ring. Grievances have been filed in the shadow of ongoing investigations of fire personnel vehicles speeding in excess of 100 mph, all recorded by the GPS tracking devices deployed throughout their fleet. Any disciplinary action has far-reaching implications. This hot-button issue is sure to continue galvanizing positions on both sides.


We have more great articles in our archives on GPS tracking technology. “GPS Tracking Nabs Another Crook. You Would Think They Would Learned by Now!”