GPS Tracking Watches the Watchers

This is actually a republication of a story I wrote several years ago … but the very same issues are going on all across America today.

Public agencies refuse to embrace the benefits of GPS Tracking in saving costs and improving service. And sadly, some public service employees, even when they know GPS Fleet Tracking is watching them, refuse to do their jobs.

Police investigate each other
GPS monitoring results in five suspensions, 13 reprimands

 By Michael D. Mullins
Reporter Staff Writer

After a 14-month investigation led by Hoboken’s internal affairs unit, 13 of the city’s 25 police officers who were assigned to a 12-to-8 a.m. shift were found not to have been patrolling their beats at certain times, and given suspensions recently. Since 2005, Internal Affairs has used Global Positioning System (GPS) in patrol cars to track how often each car moves during a shift. The GPS devices were public knowledge throughout the department, according to Hoboken Police Chief Dr. Carmen LaBruno.
Rather than patrolling the streets of their assigned area, certain cruisers remained idle for unnecessarily long periods of time, LaBruno said.
Of the 13 officers disciplined, five received a three-day suspension and an additional five-day work period without pay. Another five officers were ordered to work without pay for a period of one to three days. Also, three sergeants were issued written reprimands for their lack of supervision. … Full Article Here:

Hoboken, New Jersey.    

A lovely little town on the Hudson River shore of New Jersey.  If you turn right on any exit ramp when you exit the Holland Tunnel you’ll drive right into Hoboken … you’ll know it by the signs that say “Birthplace of Baseball and Frank Sinatra. 

Are There Chicken Coops in Hoboken?

One thing Hoboken isn’t the birthplace of is “Cooping”.  No relation to chickens.

“Cooping” is old police slang for finding a place to hole up when you’re on patrol and catching some Zzzzz’s. 

New Jersey is a state (properly, in my view as a native) where crookedness abounds. 

Of all the counties in New Jersey, Hoboken’s county, Hudson, has perhaps the worst reputation … think it is just by chance that Tony Soprano’s pork store was on Kearny Avenue in Hudson County?

I’m No Cop But I’ve Seen It For Myself

Years ago I used to ride frequently with a police officer in another burg, smaller than Hoboken, in another county nearby, a county that prided itself on being less crooked than Hudson. 

You couldn’t, however, prove it by their boys in blue.

The force was tiny.  There was typically only one officer per shift driving the one and only patrol car. 

The chief set a performance standard that each shift was to do a minimum of 100 miles of patrol per shift. 

So each officer took great pains to write down his car mileage at the beginning and end of each shift, turning in 100 or more miles driven in his daily report.

Does 100 Miles On The Log ActuallyMeans 100 Miles Driven?

The first time I rode … illegally, but who cared … with my friend on the department, I read off the speedometer to him but then noticed he had written the miles down about 50 short. 

When I brought it to his attention he explained cooping … and how it was the duty of each man on day or evening shift to log about 50 miles less than actually were driven on their shift … so that the mid shift patrolman would have 100 miles already in the book as soon as he came on duty. 

Happy Chief, Happy Officers. Town Citizens?  Maybe Not So Much

The chief was happy … he had folders and folders of reports that “proved” his men were doing 100 miles per shift. 

The patrolmen were happy … they all took their turn on mid-shift and always enjoyed being able to pull into an alley somewhere and snooze for most of their shift. 

My officer friend and I were happy as we drove to a restaurant for dinner break miles and miles away from the town, strictly to rack up extra miles on the patrol car … all at taxpayer’s expense.

But That Was Years Ago

So that was years ago, and this is now.  Check the cited Hoboken story out, it’s a hoot.

  • The police chief puts GPS tracking units on the patrol fleet.
  • The patrolmen know the trackers are there.
  • The patrolmen just go right on with “cooping” as if challenging management to actually manage.

Note:  “Cooping” isn’t used in the article but the chief makes it plain the times were much longer than simple coffee/meal breaks .. can you say: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz, boys and girls?  Thought ya could.

  • A captain (how much more did she get paid than a regular patrolman?) refused to go on patrol and let GPS document her refusal  … she knew it was there but didn’t give a crap.
  • The sergeants (who get paid extra for what?  Supervising patrolmen?)  Didn’t bother to supervise.
  • The police chief did his job, and now the whining starts.

What You Expect Me To Do My Job?  Just Becuase You Pay Me To?

About the only really predictable item is the PBA trying to condone their member’s malfeasance when presented with proof of it. 

I happen to be a strong union supporter.  But there are two big unions in this country that ought to be abolished … the NEA and the PBA. 

Both of them love to excuse their few incompetent members doing wrong … and that’s not what a union is for.

Hail To The Chief

Anyway, hat’s off to Chief La Bruno. 

And don’t get too busy laughing at either cops or Jerseyans. 

Your employees are doing the same thing with your vehicles … I can virtually guarantee it.

Back in the day when I sold GPS tracking systems, I found similar employee antics in 100% of the organizations I supply trackers too … so look in the mirror before you laugh.

To Manage You Must Measure

You can NOT manage what you can’t measure, and GPS Tracking will measure performance for you and easily pay for itself while doing so.