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The Role of Global Positional Systems in Policing and Crime Prevention William J. Artis Jr. FRS 142: Where’s Waldo April 19, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Global Positional Systems in Policing and Crime Prevention William J. Artis Jr. FRS 142: Where’s Waldo April 19, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Global Positional Systems in Policing and Crime Prevention William J. Artis Jr. FRS 142: Where’s Waldo April 19, 2004

2 Topics of Discussion What is GPS? GPS and Policing: Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Critical Incident Mapping, Management, and Documentation Mobile Computing and Field Reporting Systems Monitoring probationers and parolees by GPS

3 What is GPS? The United States Coast Guard defines GPS as “a satellite-based radio-navigation system.” GPS operates when a network of satellites “read” the signal sent by a user’s unit (which emits a radio signal). A GPS unit receives data transmitted from satellites, and at least three satellite data inputs are necessary for accurate measurements.

4 GPS The unit then interprets the data providing information on longitude, latitude, and altitude. GPS receivers can be integrated with other systems, such as a transponder or transmitter. The transmitter takes information from the GPS receiver and transmits it to a defined station, such as a police dispatcher. The dispatcher must have the system to both receive the transmission in “real time” along with the GPS data.

5 GPS was originally developed by the military to aid in navigation. Naval vessels, aircraft, and land vehicles could all determine their exact location to a high degree of accuracy in a matter of seconds without human error. Currently, corporations are developing GPS as a way to enhance customer service, to track inventory, and enhance security.

6 GPS and Policing GPS technology offers numerous benefits to law enforcement agencies of all types. For some agencies, the navigational capabilities offered by GPS enhances efficiency and safety. These navigational applications can be used to support a variety of policing and criminal justice functions. Other agencies use GPS positioning technologies to carry out special operations or to provide enhanced personnel safety.

7 As a navigational tool, GPS can be a powerful asset for law enforcement users. Using computerized maps of their jurisdictions in conjunction with GPS, aviation personnel can determine: location speed time

8 The positioning capabilities offered by GPS may also contribute to the success of specialized law enforcement operations such as in bait vehicles. One such program operated in Minneapolis led to a 60% reduction in auto theft after only one month.

9 Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) These systems provide: efficiency of response and help ensure officer safety officer with accurate information concerning the best response route to an incident officers information that allows the closest patrol officers to be dispatched to a particular incident


11 Critical Incident Mapping, Management, and Documentation  Advanced Transportation Management Systems (ATMS) are heavily dependant upon GPS technology to provide data about the road system.  Most people associate law enforcement with the prevention, reduction, and prosecution of criminal activity. In fact, a large portion of local law enforcement resources are involved in facilitating the movement of people and vehicles in a safe manner.

12 GPS allows for law enforcement personnel to clear roadway blockages to ensure the safety of motorist.

13 Mobile Computing and Field Reporting Systems With the use of differential GPS (DGPS), investigators can precisely relate evidence placement to crime scene reconstruction diagrams. The same applies to accident investigation and reconstruction.

14 The Systems of Global Positioning allows cases to be graphically displayed to show the temporal and spatial relationships of crime reports, witness statements, evidence, and crime scene drawings.

15 Monitoring probationers and parolees by GPS  Continuous monitoring of the location of the probationers can be done through a Global Positioning System.  The cost of the receivers, although decreasing, is certainly a factor.  Electronic ankle bracelets can been used to monitor probationers; typically, these devices will trigger a telephone call to the probation officer when the probationer moves more than a specified distance from a location.  Such devices could, in theory, also be used to detect violations of restraining orders or other special conditions of probation or parole.

16 Police departments in at least 16 states of United States use SMART (Satellite Monitoring and Remote Tracking). Unlike conventional house arrest systems that only monitor when offenders leave or return home, SMART system keeps track of offenders anywhere, at all times.

17 The unit is ‘smart:’ it contains “rules of release” which stipulate where the offender should be at all times. If an offender breaks these rules of release, the system automatically warns the offender and then sends a message to a control center if the problem is not immediately corrected.

18 In Conclusion… Large-volume commercial applications such as cellular phones, personal communication systems, and in-vehicle navigation systems will fuel continued development of these technologies. What was ultimately the domain of the Department of Defense is rapidly becoming available for business, private, and general government use. Policing and public safety in general, will benefit from these market forces. It is clear that there are a number of GPS applications for policing.

19 The future prospects of GPS technology are virtually limitless.

20 The End

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