By on October 29, 2014

Chicago PD Ford Explorer Interceptor

To further transparency and improve safety, Ford and Telogis have debuted a system that will gather information on a given police officer’s driving practices.

The Detroit News reports the system — having debuted in both Explorer- and Taurus-based Police Interceptors last week — can track speed, when lights are switched on, whether an officer is wearing their seat belt et al, all in real time from its place under the dashboard.

The goal? For agencies to use the information to improve how their officers drive, and to have detailed records linked to any crashes that may occur in the line of duty. Ford’s manager of business and product development, Bill Frykman, explains:

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of officer fatalities, and even the slightest improvements in driver training and behavior within law enforcement organizations can potentially save lives. Whether in emergency operation or not, vehicle data from this technology, in context with different driving situations will help illustrate to police organizations where changes can be made that will have a profound effect on officer safety.

The telematics technology originated in Ford’s line of commercial fleet models back in 2009, with Telogis coming in to help the automaker bring the system to the law enforcement market. Ford has no access to whatever is recorded, with the data secured between the vehicle and the agency that owns it.

The Los Angeles Police Department will be the first to implement the system, with other agencies coming on-board in early 2015.

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43 Comments on “Ford Brings Telematics To Law Enforcement For Greater Safety, Transparency...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Ford Explorer Police Interceptor NSA edition. So while the cops gather information on you through scanner guns, information is being gathered on them.

    Spy vs Spy… I love it!

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So ford introduces a way for the government to spend more money tracking more stuff.
    Well good, they haven’t had anything worth buying for pursuit since the crown Vic anyways.

    The funniest part is the first department to say they’re going to be using this. Only in LA are there no unsolved crimes and untested DNA evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I haven’t broken down a post this way in years:

      “So ford introduces a way for the government to spend more money tracking more stuff.”
      This kind of system has been available for a very long time and is in use by MANY departments. Ford is simply making an option on the vehicle purchase. No longer do you have to go to a third party.

      “Well good, they haven’t had anything worth buying for pursuit since the crown Vic anyways.”
      As much as I loved the CVPI, the Ford PI Sedan (Taurus) and Ford PI Utility (Explorer) are such a dramatic improvement that I could spend pages talking about it. Well, except for rearward visibility. That sucks, especially on the Sedan.

      “The funniest part is the first department to say they’re going to be using this.”
      As I stated above, this type of thing has been in use by a whole lot of departments for quite some time. It continues to grow and Ford sees that.

      “Only in LA are there no unsolved crimes and untested DNA evidence.”
      You lost me on this one. ;)

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    LOVE. THOSE. WHEELS!

    And like all other modern indulgences in personal info gathering the more they capture, the less attention it will get.

    Especially for cops in cities where, as I believe bball40dtw memorably said, “you can get shot while getting shot”.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    This won’t be allowed in the south. Police departments down here write their own rules.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Pretty much everything that’s wrong with the moden world can be laid at the feet of the combination of the modernist versions of Democracy, Safety and the Computer.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “and to have detailed records linked to any crashes that may occur in the line of duty”

    In order to assist the later prosecution or plaintiffs against these officers.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    Police Unions will spend a lot of money fighting this. No way they’re going to allow themselves to be tracked like that. Tracking is for peons.

    • 0 avatar
      otter

      You are probably right that officers’ unions won’t like this, but they won’t necessarily have any say over this, as they ultimately have no control over how their vehicles are built.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      It’ll all be internal police business. They’ll find subtler ways to defeat it than a public stance. Some administrator(s) got a wild hair and gave some vendor an orgasm. These things are frequent and easily buried. Even union bosses get that.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “Police Unions will spend a lot of money fighting this.”

      That’s been done and is no longer an issue. These systems have been available by third parties and in use by many departments for quite some time. Like many monitoring systems, a majority of officers learn to love them. They’ve protected a lot more officers from accusations than have condemned them.
      Most cops try very hard to do the right thing. Technologies like this protect those officers. The bad seeds either straighten up or get shipped out, which improves the moral of the good officers.
      Unions (eventually) understand this.

    • 0 avatar
      davicont

      The force i work for already has a system in place where we are audio and video recorded every time the lights are activated. Our supervisor are also instantly sent a message when we exceed the speed limit by 40km/24 mph or if we travel over 130 km/hr. If we have lawful justification for the offence, no problem. If not, we lose hours. Its not going away so why fight it.

  • avatar
    otter

    Cameron, where did you get the photo?

  • avatar
    TW5

    In the future, public servants will all wear cameras so we can monitor their behavior……except for the public servants who passed the laws to make everyone wear cameras. Isn’t that convenient?

  • avatar
    JMII

    When they started tracking cops in FL using SunPass (toll road transponder) they found almost all of them were speeding even when off duty:
    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-02-11/news/fl-speeding-cops-20120211_1_erskin-bell-speed-limit-city-cops

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The specialty of the local gendarmes is to turn their lights and sirens on so they can cruise through intersections without stopping for a red…only to turn them off when they clear the intersection.

      I don’t get too upset…I tend to cut some slack to people who would take a bullet for me.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Yep that sums what I’ve seen and how I feel too.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Very few would take a bullet meant for you. Shoot the perp afterwards, certainly. Shoot the perp while your body is the backstop, likely.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @FreedMike – that may be a case of abuse or more likely a “silent Code 3” response. There are cases where you don’t want to “wail” all the way to a response.

        • 0 avatar
          davicont

          “@FreedMike – that may be a case of abuse or more likely a “silent Code 3″ response. There are cases where you don’t want to “wail” all the way to a response.”

          Very true, some calls you want the sirens going the whole way, some calls you dont. Officer safety issue and notifying suspects and all that…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Rumor has it they’ve already pre-loaded all the Dunkin Donut locations in the greater L.A. area into the system.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      There are Dunkin Donuts in LA? Don’t they have Crispy Crème??

      I don’t know how Dunkin Donuts survives in places with Crispy Crème. They ought to remain the place Coffee and Stale Pastries. Of course, being in New England there are four Dunkin Donuts within a 3 mile radius of me, one actually on my street.

      My local cops bought a bunch of new Expoders with in and out facing cameras and some sort of event recorder for the cars. Was an article in the local paper about them. Slow news day.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelyon

      There are no Dunkin Donut locations in LA. Yet.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> There are no Dunkin Donut locations in LA. Yet.

        Wait a minute… let’s see… accessing accessing the history in a cruisers nav system… aha!

        http://goo.gl/uu6vf2

        http://www.bustle.com/articles/39511-dunkin-donuts-returns-to-california-with-new-santa-monica-location-and-everyone-freaks-out

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Tattle-tale devices have been used in commercial vehicles for decades. It makes sense to use in Emergency vehicles. I used to work as a paramedic and due to increased liability/litigation for serious and frivolous claims, these devices have become necessary. The BC Ambulance Service policy was/is – you crash and you are not following proper policy and procedure, you are on your own. It has affected driving habits but as one police officer said, “if nothing happened, then nothing happens”. (in other words, don’t get caught breaking the rules).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can’t speak for Canada, but in the US I see this as becoming legal fodder for s***bag lawyers in frivolous lawsuits.

      “I see here you were pursuing my client in the car he allegedly stole at eighty miles per hour when he crashed. Could this excessive speed at which you pursued him contributed to his crash?”

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @28-Cars-Later – depends on institutional/department policy. If the 80 mph pursuit meets chase criteria then the on board telemetry will back up the officer.

        A long time ago a court ruling from the USA put the operators of emergency vehicles “at a higher standard” which was what burst the dam in relation to frivolous litigation. there was a period of time where emergency vehicles were being targeted by people to ” cash in” on the “higher standard” ruling.

        Another ruling which affected liability was whether or not the lights and sirens response was necessary. An example is responding lights and sirens for a cardiac chest pain. If an EMS unit got into an MVC and the chest pain turned out to be indigestion the courts would be more inclined to rule against the EMS crew.

        Frivolous and stupid.

        Some EMS services even considered banning any lights and sirens response.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @28-Cars-Later – depends on institutional/department policy. If the 80 mph pursuit meets chase criteria then the on board telemetry will back up the officer.

        A long time ago a court ruling from the USA put the operators of emergency vehicles “at a higher standard” which was what burst the dam in relation to frivolous litigation. there was a period of time where emergency vehicles were being targeted by people to ” cash in” on the “higher standard” ruling.

        Another ruling which affected liability was whether or not the lights and sirens response was necessary. An example is responding lights and sirens for a cardiac chest pain. If an EMS unit got into an MVC and the chest pain turned out to be indigestion the courts would be more inclined to rule against the EMS crew.

        Frivolous.

        Some EMS services even considered banning any lights and sirens response.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I think the bigger problem here, and there’s always a bigger problem, is the attitude of “…and in procedure we find salvation.”

    If everybody just followed all the rules, we’d have a perfect world. Yeah, maybe.

    Following all of the modern world’s rules all the time is impossible, yet too many people think that if someone got hurt or something got broken, it was because somebody didn’t follow procedure.

    So instead of doing something rational like imposing limits on what, where and when people can sue each other for, we scatter surveillance cameras and tattletale telematics across the landscape and congratulate ourselves that we’ve made the world safe for special snowflakes and trusting souls and people who have nothing to hide.

    The perversion of due process that is the zero-defect, accountability-uber-alles, box-checking mindset isn’t the answer, for civilians or the police.

    I may not know what that answer is, but I’ll fall back on something my mom told me a long time ago:

    NEVER. PUT. ANYTHING. IN. WRITING.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      To quote the supporters of those who gleefully analyze your credit records, your phone records, your email and chat data, your location data from license plate cameras: if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

      Why shouldn’t this apply to the those entrusted with enforcing justice?

  • avatar
    karvanet

    Simpler versions of this have and are already being used by many if not all larger police departments. Walk into any police telecoms office and you’ll see all the police cars moving through the streets on the big screen. Click on any of them and you’ll know how fast it’s travelling etc.


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