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   Lowell, Mass. spent over $50,000 on GPS tracking system for police but won't use it because police have a union

23 Feb 2013 02:19 AM   |   5167 clicks   |   Lowell Sun
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feckingmorons    [TotalFark]  
What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?

22 Feb 2013 08:08 PM
Vodka Zombie     
That sort of thing could be a hell of a benefit in coordinating a response. Shame the cops are too shady and scared to use it.

22 Feb 2013 08:33 PM
doglover    [TotalFark]  

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS.


I'm more of the opinion WHY ARE YOU WASTING $50,000 tax dollars to build a GPS tracking system. There's uninsured people out there. WTF. This could all be helping people pay medical bills.

22 Feb 2013 09:10 PM
This About That    [TotalFark]  
Well, Beverly Hills has this. I saw that on "Beverly Hills Cop". So, rich people have it, why not Lowell, MA.

22 Feb 2013 09:31 PM
martissimo    [TotalFark]  

doglover: feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS.

I'm more of the opinion WHY ARE YOU WASTING $50,000 tax dollars to build a GPS tracking system. There's uninsured people out there. WTF. This could all be helping people pay medical bills.


RTFA man, not a cent of the taxpayers money is being spent on this shiat, they stole this cash from people who had a bag of pot in their car you frigging moron!

22 Feb 2013 09:43 PM
martissimo    [TotalFark]  
oh wait i forgot the punchline in there, i thought I had one too, damm

22 Feb 2013 09:44 PM
Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?


There's a local cop around here who spends seven hours a day at 7-11.  If I go to work late and come home early he's in the parking lot either napping or reading a newspaper.  He doesn't even pretend to work.

I imagine he'd get fired pretty quickly if his car had GPS.

22 Feb 2013 10:04 PM
Aar1012     

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?


Welcome to Massachusetts*!

*Bring money

22 Feb 2013 11:54 PM
jehovahs witness protection     
It costs unions next to nothing to make $50,000 in taxpayer stolen money to be a total waste.

23 Feb 2013 12:09 AM
namatad    [TotalFark]  
But two city unions are blocking the project because they want assurances the data will be used for public safety and not discipline.

how do you know that your cops are a bunch of criminals? their union is worried that you might discipline them. assholes

23 Feb 2013 12:52 AM
namatad    [TotalFark]  
but seriously
all public employees should be GPS monitored 24hrs a day.
it would be great for solving a ton of crimes

23 Feb 2013 12:57 AM
jaylectricity    [TotalFark]  
Somebody I know drives a school bus in our town. She did her job, picked up and dropped off kids at school. At lunch she goes home, or whatever to wait for the afternoon rides or sometimes she's on-call. She parks her bus in the middle of town, at a gym and goes in to get some cardio.

Some nitwit calls the city asking why they're paying for a city employee to go to the gym.

23 Feb 2013 01:09 AM
fusillade762    [TotalFark]  

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?


Can't have supervisors finding out they're all at the donut shop.

23 Feb 2013 02:29 AM
jehovahs witness protection     

jaylectricity: Somebody I know drives a school bus in our town. She did her job, picked up and dropped off kids at school. At lunch she goes home, or whatever to wait for the afternoon rides or sometimes she's on-call. She parks her bus in the middle of town, at a gym and goes in to get some cardio.

Some nitwit calls the city asking why they're paying for a city employee to go to the gym.


Although it's stupid to make that call to get someone fired, this is a different story.

23 Feb 2013 02:30 AM
sycraft     
I love this: "But two city unions are blocking the project because they want assurances the data will be used for public safety and not discipline." Yep, their issue with it is that they know they are breaking the rules and they'd get in trouble.

23 Feb 2013 02:32 AM
Charles_Nelson_Reilly     
FTA: "Lynch and Lavallee announced the initiative after a cruiser was stolen in the Highlands by Ricky Sin of Lowell. Sin pleaded guilty to several charges, including larceny of a motor vehicle."


A great name for pillow talk.

23 Feb 2013 02:33 AM
NorCalLos     

fusillade762: feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?

Can't have supervisors finding out they're all at the donut shop.


I know the donut shop is the stereotype, but I always see them at Starbuck's and Chipotle and they never appreciate it when I ask if they can say something to the people parked in the yellow zone.

23 Feb 2013 02:33 AM
ReverendJasen     
Oh fark off, pigs.  Put your leashes on, you have nothing to hide.

23 Feb 2013 02:34 AM
Gyrfalcon    [TotalFark]  

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.

If they're not doing anything wrong what are they afraid of? Don't cops like that line?


Same thing could be said for the Patriot Act, you commie.

23 Feb 2013 02:36 AM
Gyrfalcon    [TotalFark]  
In all seriousness, this is about one-half cops scared the brass will find out they're outside their patrol areas snoozing or taking trips to Boston (or wherever the hell Lowell cops go when they're on the late shift), one-quarter cops who really are doing something wrong shiatting their pants because they know it's only a matter of time before they get caught behind the local crack house or brothel; and one-quarter union reps who could care less about either of the former and are just saying "Cool, something different! Let's make it a contract issue!"

23 Feb 2013 02:38 AM
filter     

doglover: feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS.

I'm more of the opinion WHY ARE YOU WASTING $50,000 tax dollars to build a GPS tracking system. There's uninsured people out there. WTF. This could all be helping people pay medical bills.


$50k is dirt cheap.


I doubt it costs that little.

23 Feb 2013 02:38 AM
Happy Hours     

feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS. If you're at home for half the day it should be used for discipline.


I agree, The union should be more concerned with making sure their people are treated fairly than protected from consequences of doing wrong.


The only possible objection I could see is if the cops are allowed to use their vehicles for personal use. I'm not sure if cops in my town can drive them wherever they want for personal use, but they do drive them home.

For about a year I had 2 cops who parked their cars in full view close to my house. Now there's only one but another one just moved in around the corner.

Now if you're a burglar do you rob the homes with cop cars parked close to them or do you move on to another neighborhood?

But I'm rambling.....and this probably doesn't even apply here.

II wish the article mentioned something like how many cop cars were outfitted with GPS equipment. You know, maybe they could explain why it cost that much. GPS systems are cheap. Anyone with a smartphone probably has GPS. Then you just have to transmit data in close to real time to a central point and it shouldn't be too difficult to plot them all on a farking map. $50,000 seems a bit steep but without details I can't say for sure.

23 Feb 2013 02:40 AM
relcec     
bullshiat like this only serves reinforce my disapprobation for public unions, especially of police unions.


/I'd support a constitutional amendment that guaranteed the right to form a public union and collectively bargain against the people as long as it simultaneously prohibited the formation of police unions.

23 Feb 2013 02:42 AM
State_College_Arsonist     
So, the police can set up a false cell station to track any and all of us, without a warrant, but tracking the police cars themselves is out of the question.  Ah, police unions.

23 Feb 2013 02:47 AM
blottoman     
Yeah, I wonder why?

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23 Feb 2013 02:50 AM
SpinStopper    [TotalFark]  
We are all equal under the law, but some are more equal than others.  Oink oink ;)

23 Feb 2013 02:52 AM
EvilBillGates     
My immediate reaction is that the City was stupid for paying for a GPS service they aren't using. The city was also stupid for paying $50K to add devices they KNOW the Union is going to fight against. Then it hit me. It's easier to apologize and beg for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission. So the City tells the people, "X-amount has been spent, and that big evil Union is making sure it's wasted, let's all be mad at them!" And people who aren't in Unions, and especially employers, hate Unions, so it's an easy target.

Be mad at the Police Union all you want, but they're doing nothing wrong here. These details should have been hammered out long before money was spent. The City wasted the money because they figured they could blame the Unions for blocking the implementation and face no consequences for wasting money on a project that wont see the light of day.

23 Feb 2013 02:55 AM
Happy Hours     
The cops have been fighting this for 3 farking years.

Article from February, 2010:

23 Feb 2013 02:56 AM
OBBN    [TotalFark]  
50k? He'll I have GPS trackers for each of my dogs. It goes on their collars and uses Verizon cell towers to locate them. I can pull Google maps up on my phone and get an instant location and track them. Cost me $79 for each tracker and $9 a month to monitor all three dogs. How can this be costing $50k to monitor twenty our even fifty cops?

23 Feb 2013 02:57 AM
ReapTheChaos     
"unions are blocking the project because they want assurances the data will be used for public safety and not discipline."

They're public servants, it should be used for both.

This is why unions need to go away, they're nothing but a remnant of a bygone era. It's not the 1920s anymore, we have more than enough laws on the books to protect workers from unfair/unsafe labor practices and courts to take care of any problems that arise.

23 Feb 2013 03:03 AM
IlGreven     

namatad: But two city unions are blocking the project because they want assurances the data will be used for public safety and not discipline.

how do you know that your cops are a bunch of criminals? their union is worried that you might discipline them. assholes


So therefore, we should do away with the union, and then use the data for discipline.

/That is and has been the Republican MO for the past 3 decades...

23 Feb 2013 03:08 AM
BarkingUnicorn     

EvilBillGates: My immediate reaction is that the City was stupid for paying for a GPS service they aren't using. The city was also stupid for paying $50K to add devices they KNOW the Union is going to fight against. Then it hit me. It's easier to apologize and beg for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission. So the City tells the people, "X-amount has been spent, and that big evil Union is making sure it's wasted, let's all be mad at them!" And people who aren't in Unions, and especially employers, hate Unions, so it's an easy target.

Be mad at the Police Union all you want, but they're doing nothing wrong here. These details should have been hammered out long before money was spent. The City wasted the money because they figured they could blame the Unions for blocking the implementation and face no consequences for wasting money on a project that wont see the light of day.


There's "nothing wrong" about the union stonewalling this project?

23 Feb 2013 03:10 AM
nmemkha     
Ever notice how when Conservatives go after unions, they always exempt police and fire? If they really want to end corruption then why do they consistently exempt two of the most corrupt public worker unions from any "reforms"?

23 Feb 2013 03:22 AM
Happy Hours     
Some googling reveals they have 170 cops and another 55 sergeants, and higher ups for a total of 225 sworn officers.

By comparison, my town is about 50% larger by population and wiki tells me we only have 194 sworn officers.

Also, Lowell PD's wikipedia page is hugely more detailed than that of my city PD's wikipedia page.

Our cops are pretty cool here. I've only dealt with them a couple fo times but they were reasonable. We also have a fairly low crime rate. I have no idea about Lowell.

But I wonder if there's a correlation. Do reasonable cops reduce crime? Or does high crime drive more cops to be assholes? I suspect the latter but I have no evidence to support it.

23 Feb 2013 03:24 AM
namatad    [TotalFark]  

IlGreven: So therefore, we should do away with the union, and then use the data for discipline.

/That is and has been the Republican MO for the past 3 decades...


Strange, I dont remember any GOP candidates running on disbanding Police and Fire Unions.

On the flip-side, the only way to protect public workers from nepotism and abuse from a new administration has proven to be unions.
I guess we need to find a better way to manage unions.

Alas, any attempt to replace the police, would probably have a period of lawlessness while we replaced all the cops.
BAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

23 Feb 2013 03:31 AM
drjekel_mrhyde     
Somehow I want to scream Unions are bad,but even my simple arse know bus drivers, USPS, UPS, and most associated union drivers have GPS in their work vehicle.
/Now LEO on the other hand loved that car makers started putting GPS in every non LEO car in this country, while pulling this type of shiat with theirs.

23 Feb 2013 03:35 AM
MNguy    [TotalFark]  

drjekel_mrhyde: Somehow I want to scream Unions are bad, good but even my simple ass knows bus drivers, USPS, UPS, and most associated union drivers have GPS in their work vehicles.
/Now LEO on the other hand loved that car makers started putting GPS in every non LEO car in this country, while pulling this type of shiat with theirs.


FTFM

23 Feb 2013 03:40 AM
magneticmushroom     
Lowell, Massachusetts trifecta in play.

23 Feb 2013 03:41 AM
OgreMagi     
Turn on the damn GPS and tell the union to fark off.  If they aren't doing anything wrong, they shouldn't be acting like they are hiding something.

And let them strike, then fire every single one that doesn't show up for his shift, and start an aggressive campaign to hire new (potentially honest) cops.

23 Feb 2013 03:43 AM
ambercat     

doglover: feckingmorons: What are they doing on the taxpayer's time that should not be tracked by GPS.

I'm more of the opinion WHY ARE YOU WASTING $50,000 tax dollars to build a GPS tracking system. There's uninsured people out there. WTF. This could all be helping people pay medical bills.


These days though that's like two people's medical bills. You might as well have the GPS.

23 Feb 2013 03:45 AM
ProfessorOhki     
Oh, there's car 54.

23 Feb 2013 03:55 AM
randomjsa     
Didn't you know that police aren't suppose to be held accountable?

23 Feb 2013 03:57 AM
Shadowknight     
When I was in the police department (in 2001-2002), we had GPS locators.  We were one of first mass adopters.  Yeah, it sucked for the guys who wanted to hang out at IHOP for their entire shift, but for most of us it was nice to know that dispatch knew where we were at all times.

Later, when I was a medic and on the ambulance, we got GPS location to much complaint from the older guys that didn't understand it, but for most of us it was just a thing.  Sure, the Chief would get a little pissy if you sat outside a location after a treat-and-release situation so you could do your refusal paperwork (rather than going back to your station first), but other than that it really didn't effect us outside of dispatch knowing what unit was closest and best equipped for the call at hand.  Couldn't complain.

23 Feb 2013 04:08 AM
GreatGlavinsGhost     
WTF is it with this town? Link

23 Feb 2013 04:09 AM
Notabunny    [TotalFark]  
So it's a change-of-work-conditions issue which is almost resolved? And it's not costing the public a cent? Why is this a story?

23 Feb 2013 04:11 AM
Shadowknight     

NorCalLos: I know the donut shop is the stereotype, but I always see them at Starbuck's and Chipotle and they never appreciate it when I ask if they can say something to the people parked in the yellow zone.


Donuts became the defacto food of choice around the same time as radios became standard in cars.  Before the radio, a lot if not most police had a foot beat, with strategically placed phones to call the station for backup if needed.  If they wanted to eat, they'd stop and get a sandwich.  But once as portable radios became a thing and cities realized you could have one officer in a car cover a lot bigger area (thus hiring less people), they spent most of their time in their vehicle.

And you know what's great to eat when you spend all day in a car?  Something that doesn't require refrigeration and goes great with the coffee you're drinking to keep you awake through a long shift?  Something you can eat with one hand while driving?

That said, when I was in the academy, our lead training officer told us one day...

"Look, guys, I love an eclair as much as the next guy.  Everyone loves donuts.  But when you're on duty, say no.  Pretend you HATE donuts.  Because I guarantee the very second you pick up that delicious powered sugar covered Bavarian cream, someone is going to snap a picture and you're going to end up an internet joke."

23 Feb 2013 04:15 AM
ElwoodCuse     

ReapTheChaos: This is why unions need to go away, they're nothing but a remnant of a bygone era. It's not the 1920s anymore, we have more than enough laws on the books to protect workers from unfair/unsafe labor practices and courts to take care of any problems that arise.


media.comicvine.comView Full Size

23 Feb 2013 04:25 AM
CruiserTwelve    [TotalFark]  

Notabunny: So it's a change-of-work-conditions issue which is almost resolved? And it's not costing the public a cent? Why is this a story?


Because it involves cops who, as we know, are the most corrupt people in the world.

Actually, I don't understand the objection to having GPS in police cars. It's been great in my agency. The dispatchers always know where you are, and more than a few times cops have called for  help and haven't had time to give their location. GPS got help to them. I still, however,  find it rather disconcerting when a dispatcher calls you and tells you they're getting an alarm from a business you just drove past.

23 Feb 2013 04:27 AM
Shadowknight     

CruiserTwelve: Actually, I don't understand the objection to having GPS in police cars. It's been great in my agency. The dispatchers always know where you are, and more than a few times cops have called for  help and haven't had time to give their location. GPS got help to them. I still, however,  find it rather disconcerting when a dispatcher calls you and tells you they're getting an alarm from a business you just drove past.


I've had that before, as well as on the ambulance.  My favorite:

"Unit 925, this is dispatch."

"This is 925, go ahead dispatch."

"We just got a call from the Target on Lynnhaven Dr.  you just passed.  A 38 year old woman claims she ran after you as you drove by, trying to flag you down.  Subject says she is having a heart attack."

"Come again, dispatch?  You say she is running after our ambulance, and that  she is currently, as we speak, having a heart attack?"

"That is correct, 925.  She says she can see you right now, and seems agitated.  Shall I mark you enroute or onscene?"

"Um, either is fine, I guess."

23 Feb 2013 04:35 AM
KrispyKritter     
After police in my town were found asleep in cruisers multiple times the Chief made sure all the new squad cars have pitch black tint windows.

23 Feb 2013 04:45 AM
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