By: Vince Sims, CBS46.com
There’s new deployable GPS technology used by the Canton Police Department that’s designed to keep officers from having to engage in high-speed pursuits.
Since we like to fact check things for ourselves here at CBS46, we used our car as a getaway car and let police tag us and use their new tracking technology to try and find us.
The officer turns on his lights, but we don’t stop. So he deploys the GPS tracker on the back of the news van and the process beings.
“So what you are seeing here is a live map after we tagged the vehicle, and I can see where the vehicle is at,” says Officer Christian Cruz. “I don’t have to chase it. I’m chasing him blindly right now and he doesn’t even realize it.”
We pulled down the end of a dead end street, thinking we were getting away and trying to hide, but they were able to track us.
“It was wild watching it because we could see every move that you were making,” says CBS46 photographer Marcus Hamilton, who was watching from the officer’s patrol car. “We saw every street that you turned on and when you came to a complete stop. And when we saw you were on a dead end street, we came and got you.”
This is technology that people welcome as long as it’s used responsibly.
“I just think there would have to be restrictions on when and how they could use it,” says citizen Patrick O’Neil. “You would have to have cause, and you couldn’t just use it to pull up to someone and say, ‘Hey, I think, or this might be.'”
“We can back off, we can watch them. It’s almost like a helicopter in the sky they can’t see,” says Officer Cruz. “It brings the officer’s adrenaline and tunnel vision way down to where now they can actually plan and focus on what they are going to do.”
CBS46 questioned the Canton Police Department about responsible use and was told their policy is only for probable cause of a fleeing suspect or suspect attempting to allude officers. They will not use it for any other surveillance situations.
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