Many of us here at PINAC feel that law enforcement already plays a little loose and fast with the truth.
Evidently, this applies to smartphone apps as well.
Waze is an app used by many drivers in cities across the country to help them find the fastest route between places. The app allows users to report accidents, congestion and so on.
It also allows users to identify police activity, including speed traps or red-light enforcement.
Paranoid police chiefs around the country have warned that criminals could use this to target police officers, putting them in dangerous situations.
They have asked Google to modify the app.
The police website LEO Affairs stated the following this week:
USA Today reports that many police officers, including Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, are concerned with the police tracking feature. In a letter he wrote to Google, Beck voiced his concern that the feature could be misused by criminals in an attempt to harm police. He also claims that Waze was used in the slaying of two police officers in New York City in December of 2014. President of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police Sgt. Javier Ortiz also believes that the app “puts [police officers] at risk, puts the public at risk, because it’s going to cause more deadly force encounters between law enforcement and suspects.”
In order to combat this perceived threat, Miami police officers are fighting back . . . by downloading the app and providing incorrect information about police locations.
Hundreds of Miami police officers aren’t happy with Waze’s police-finding feature, and they’re not content with asking Google to remove it. According to NBC Miami, a number of cops in the city are taking matters into their own hands, downloading the app and inundating it with fake police sightings. We’re sure a lot of people love the app for that particular feature, as they can use it to make sure they’re driving well below the speed limit in the presence of law enforcement. Some American officers told AP last month, though, that the app could pose a threat, as wanna-be cop killers can easily use it to find a target.
However, not all South Florida officers are as concerned as the apparently skittish Miami-Dade cops. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said, “If someone is suffering mental illness and they want to commit a heinous crime or hunt a deputy or a police officer; they don’t need Waze to do that.”
Again, we know that police are not always honest (and that’s putting it mildly). As lying goes, though, this one seems to be more laughable than serious.
However, one person in the PINAC Newsroom had one good suggestion to combat this dishonesty.
“Perhaps we can put fake donut shop tags into Waze.”