Cops concerned over feature on navigation apps

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — When planning a long car-ride, many of us check traffic and road conditions on a navigation app.

Programs like Waze and Google Maps let their users report if they see a crash, road closure, and even a police car.

While they see the benefits of these apps, Pennsylvania State Police said these apps are causing a problem.

“If somebody’s trying to retaliate or has an issue with police, they can obviously easily view where we’re at and make contact with us, and we would not be suspecting it,” State Trooper Christopher Fox said.

Trooper Fox added although you might see an officer pulled off on the road, they may not be doing what you think they are.

“We have essentially a mobile office inside our patrol vehicle, so we can be doing anything. We can be enforcing speeds. We can be doing reports or anything of that sort in related to the police job’s daily tasks,” he said.

Reporting where police are located on these navigation apps can also threaten their efforts to find a criminal.

“Whenever we’re out, we may be looking for somebody, and that may jeopardize taking someone into custody that could be risking everybody in the public,” Trooper Fox said.

However, Trooper Fox said there are still benefits to using the app.

“If you can list where there’s maybe a blind turn and we’re at a crash and they can locate a police cruiser, it can maybe give somebody a heads up going around that turn to slow down and maybe get over to the left side of the road,” he said.

But think twice about sharing where that one police cruiser.

“It’s obviously an officer-safety issue,” Trooper Fox said.

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