Welsh police chief installs GPS on all cars

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

WELSH — Police Chief Marcus Crochet is using a global positioning system to track police units to improve response time and

officers’ safety.

Crochet recently began installing the GPS tracking systems on patrol units, including his own police unit, with the goal to

have the system installed on all police units in the future.

The units track vehicle speed as well as movement and location of the vehicles. They also help monitor vehicle maintenance

to include oil changes.

“The GPS helps us have more accountability and helps out with citizens complaints about officers speeding or not patrolling

an area,” Crochet said.

The GPS devices provide the police chief with reports for each vehicle, including instant e-mails and text messages on speed

and location of vehicles. He can be instantly notified when a vehicle leaves the city limits or a certain area.

“If a certain neighborhood complains

about lack of patrols, I can go back and see when and how many times an

officer patrolled

that area,” he said. “And when somebody has a question about what

the officers were doing or if we were patrolling last night

or just sitting in the office all night we can pull that

information up.”

The devices also help improve safety of the officers by pinpointing their last location, he said.

“If an officer is out of unit and the dispatcher cannot get a response, we can send someone to check on him,” he said.

Dispatchers also will soon have the capability of seeing where the vehicles are so that when an emergency call comes in, they

can send the closest unit, thus improving response times to calls.

Several law enforcement agencies in the area have similar devices, including the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office and

Jennings Police Department.