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.

GPS Systems Installed in County Vehicles

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.

GPS ROI TrackingA government watchdog group said they’re happy to hear the news. They’ve been pushing for GPS systems on county-owned vehicles for some time. County officials said the benefits are widespread.

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.

Florida Joins the Need a GPS Warrant Club — With a Nautical Twist

Pretty interesting article From Wired here.  Not only is it talking about cell phone data — which I have been preaching for years is way more dangerous to you privacy than GPS data, but it brings up some really scary cell phone technology I wasn’t aware of … STINGRAY.  Ever heard of it?  You’ll want to, read on ..

Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules

The top of a cell phone tower.

The top of a cell phone tower. Getty Images

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

The American Civil Liberties Union calls the Florida ruling “a resounding defense” of the public’s right to privacy.

“Following people’s movements by secretly turning their cell phones into tracking devices can reveal extremely sensitive details of our lives, like where we go to the doctor or psychiatrist, where we spend the night, and who our friends are,” said Nate Freed Wessler, an attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Police are now on notice that they need to get a warrant from a judge before tracking cell phones, whether using information from the service provider or their own ‘Stingray’ cell phone tracking equipment.”

The ruling constitutes the first time that a state court has reached this finding under the Fourth Amendment. It comes at a timely moment when federal courts of appeal in other jurisdictions are in the midst of taking up the question of cell tower data, Wessler told WIRED. Even if other jurisdictions rule differently, the Florida case makes it more likely that the issue will one day get to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, civil liberties advocates hope that the federal court would rule as it did on the use of GPS tracking devices used by police, determining that it constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. Though the court in that case fell short of ruling that the use of GPS devices requires a warrant, law enforcement agencies around the country have changed their practices as a result of the ruling.


Stingrays are equally as invasive as GPS trackers, if not more so since GPS trackers are generally used on vehicles traveling public roads. Stingrays, however, can track the mobile phone wherever it goes—inside an apartment building and even down to the exact apartment where a person resides….

Scary, eh?  Well there’s a lot, lot more to the Stingray problem than the ACLU is talking about.

I’m going to do an extensive study on Stingrays starting next week on my sister sister,   Come over when you have a chance, it ought to be interesting.

Just because people say you’re crazy doesn’t mean they aren’t after you …

Do These Look Geostationary to You?

I’ve just been reading quite a bit about the sad story of Malaysian Airways flight 370, the horrid way Malaysia and some other nations involved just don’t even attempt to do air traffic control. and a lot of claptrap about the GPS system and how it should have tracked MH370 right to it’s final resting place.

One thing I found in quite a few places were reference aftre reference to the GPS satellites being iin geostationary orbit.  Well, hate to tell you this, but they are NOT.  Note the neat animated graphic above from Trimble.

My Drivers Are Honest — I Don’t Need GPS Tracking

Are you sure about that?  I’ve been selling, servicing modifying, implementing and consulting on GPS tracking and it’s role in protecting business owners from loss and unnecessary risk for nearly 20 years now.  I go back in the GPS to the days there was only one satellite (yes and it was useful, as well)

It is common, so common for business owners to deny they have any problems.  It’s human nature, but it’s still really comical … because if all these guys had such a good handle on their business, they’d be rich.

Covert tracker shows its worth in seafood theft

Staff reporter


Truck tracked by GPSThe value of covert tracking technology to combat cargo theft has been proved once again in a case involving a stolen frozen seafood shipment in the US.

On September 29, an embedded GPS system identified when the shipment – en route from Massachusetts to California – was handed over to thieves by a complicit driver, according to a report from transport security specialist Freightwatch.

The GPS system identified when the shipment was diverted from its route towards Florida by the thieves, who were friends of the driver, and allowed the cargo to be recovered intact by police within hours of the theft. The driver reported the theft when he reached a depot in Jackson, Mississippi.

Real-World GPS Business Example

I’ve been selling the idea and benefits of GPS fleet tracking for years.

I think much of the time I made the mistake, and the industry in general has made the mistake, of making it all too complicated and technical.

It’s easy and it’s smart, folks.  It’s what every small business with a fleet on the road needs.

See how simple it was for Joe and Hangers Cleaners to find thousands in savings every year:

Did you notice especially how Joe found the excessive idling problem?

This is going on right now, today, in the fleet right outside your window. I guarantee it. I haven’t seen a fleet in nearly 20 years where this has NOT been a problem.

The practical solution? Monitor and Manage.

You Need a Nation-Wide Plan

Mnay of you reading this already know the importance of managing your fleets.

Those who have not yet made the move are often hanging back becuase the actual data netwwork .. the managemnt to truck data link is often the “Long Pole in the Tent” .. the most critical piece of the puzzle.

Getting Spring onboard ike this should go a long way toward making real-world, real-time fleet monoitoring and management availble to all.

Trust me folks, I’ve got years and years of experience in this business and I can truly tell you, managing your fleet with GPS does not COST, it PAYS.