Another County Administration With Their Head in the Game
Hat’s off to Hildago county, Texas. County leadership there joins the exclusive league of politicians who actual care about their responsibility to the taxpayers and the safety of their workers.
In addition, Mr. GPS will be happy to assure them they are going to save a lot of money on fuel and vehcle maintenance.
Read just some of the cases the country has already discovered showing the vaue of GPS tracking.
Hidalgo County is striving to provide more accountability, efficiency and safety in its operations and with the use of taxpayer money.
Last week, the county installed GPS systems in county-owned vehicles that are assigned to five departments.
County officials said GPS systems in their vehicles will help county departments be more effective and efficient with taxpayer money.
In a previous CHANNEL 5 NEWS report, we told you about an employee who took a county truck from the Precinct 4 lot after hours and without permission. Its history was tracked through a GPS installed system. It had traveled many miles and was damaged in the process.
Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWL) spokesperson Fern McClaugherty said this shouldn’t be happening.
“We’ve gotten phone calls from people from Edcouch that there was a county vehicle. We heard in Hidalgo. We’ve heard several restaurants. We’ve had some that have been found at strip joints,” she said. “This is why it’s so important that we know where the vehicles are and that the people that drive them know that the taxpayers are watching.”
McClaugherty said she’s happy to hear that Hidalgo County is taking steps to monitor their vehicles.
Last week, GPS systems were installed in 70 cars and trucks assigned to health and human services, facilities management, worker’s comp, the health department and executive office.
“These units will be able to tell you the travel time from point A to point B. They’ll be able to tell you how much mileage that unit has put on within a certain period of time,” Hidalgo County Executive Director Valde Guerra said. “They’ll also be able to tell you whether or not your battery is low for whatever reason. It will give us reports. It will give us alerts, so again that was the primary reason.”
Guerra said employee safety was also a big factor in purchasing the systems.
“We did have an incident in the past where we had an individual that was dispatched and we lost communication with him,” he recalled. “We had to file a wellness report because we couldn’t find the gentleman. At the end of the day, everything was okay with him but we did lose track of him for quite some time.”
Guerra said the systems will also help hold the county accountable along with its employees.
“The individuals in the units are made aware that there is a tracking or GPS system on their unit,” he said. “The individuals know at any given point in time we’ll be able to know where they went, where they were at or where they didn’t go. If they said they were going to go to location A, we’ll be able to track whether or not they went to location A.”
The executive director said employees who don’t follow the rules that are set will be dealt with accordingly.
The county plans to install GPS systems in about 40 more of their vehicles, which are expected in 45 to 60 days.