We all know people who look out for speed traps and DUI checkpoints. They either don’t want the hassle of stopping and being questioned, or they are trying to avoid “getting caught” for speeding and/or drinking while behind the wheel.
So, Google stepped in to help them out. But, intentional or not, Google has just made things far more dangerous for police.
Police are up in arms over a Google app, Waze, which they believe makes it easy for maniac cop-killers to stalk and assassinate police officers.
In an opinion piece on CNN, David A. Clarke, sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and Jonathan Thompson, CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), wrote, “The app poses an enormous risk to deputies and police officers.”
Waze, a popular real-time Google app which combines GPS and user alerts to warn drivers of traffic jams, also warns them of the location of police, a feature which most motorists use to help them avoid speed traps and DUI checkpoints, the pair note.
“I am concerned about the safety of law enforcement officers and the community, and the potential for your Waze product to be misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community.”
So how did Google respond to the pleas from police? Newsmax gives the answer:
However, Clarke and Thompson said, “The company’s executives flat out refused to discuss the subject with representatives of the NSA, an organization representing more than 3,000 sheriff’s offices across the United States.”
What is the main concern? It is criminals knowing where the police are at all times. Newsmax reports a recent connected tragedy.
“Ambushes were the leading circumstance of officer fatalities in firearms-related deaths. Of the 50 firearms-related fatalities in 2014, fifteen officers were shot and killed in ambush attacks, more than any other.”
Ismaaiyl Brinsley is known to have used Waze before he gunned down New York Police Department Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December, CNN notes.
This terrible tragedy might have been averted if the Google App wasn’t configured to show the location of the two slain officers. Perhaps they would not have been killed. Perhaps the killer would have picked a different target. Perhaps the police would have had a better warning the attack was coming. Who knows?
But, what is certain is that the potential for more tragedy has increased considerably by this App being available to anyone – criminals, terrorists, lunatics, even foreign governments.
In addition, they state, “Perpetrators of domestic violence can use it to find out about the presence of law enforcement in a spouse’s neighborhood. Gang members, narcotics dealers, even those intent on perpetrating an act of terror, all have access to Waze’s ‘traffic cop’ feature.”
In fact, some police departments are becoming so frustrated with this App that they are taking action as Newsmax describes it:
In Miami, police have become so upset about Waze that they have begun posting bogus police sightings by the hundreds in order to muddle the app, NBC reports.