GPS Tracking for Law Enforcement

GPS tracking law enforcement

According to a 2014 study released by the Yale Law Journal, using GPS tracking for covert tracking operations for law enforcement departments is incredibly less expensive than utilizing officers for covert tracking operations.  In fact, the study estimated the cost of GPS tracking to be 1000 times more affordable than tracking vehicles the old fashioned way, with officers trailing behind their target in unmarked vehicles.

In the study, the cost comparisons are dramatic– covert tracking using the standard 5 car surveillance box strategy is estimated to cost $275 dollars per hour, yet the cost of GPS tracking for law enforcement covert tracking can range from just 36-cents to around $5 per hour.

GPS tracking for law enforcement has been described as a “game changer” in the law enforcement community for both its cost effectiveness and the number of vehicles that can be tracked simultaneously.

The study included both cell phone GPS tracking units, and GPS tracking systems mounted to target vehicles.


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GPS tracking

Nineteen people in Detroit are suspects in a nationwide theft ring, partly attributed to the use of  covert GPS tracking devices.  According to police, the suspects targeted specific jewelry shops and watch stores, often asking to view high-end jewelry and watches before running out the door and jumping into a getaway car without paying for the merchandise.

The theft ring appears to have been somewhat sophisticated in that the stolen merchandise was often tossed into a second car shortly after the theft to prevent it from being found  in the vehicle seen leaving the scene.  With covert GPS tracking devices, officers were able to confirm the location of multiple cars in each operation,  thereby linking the suspects to the stolen items. The case involves 19 Detroit individuals in robberies spanning 22 states over a five year timeframe.

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