Not that long ago, police departments joined together to call upon the United States Supreme Court (with the support of the Obama Administration) to allow citizens to be tracked with GPS devices placed on their vehicles without a warrant or probable cause. The litigants argued that this was a minor intrusion into the rights of citizens and that there was no expectation of privacy in such movements. The Court wisely rejected the arguments in United States v. Jones. Now police in Boston are objecting to a plan to place such devices on their patrol cars as an unwarranted intrusion.
GPS devices allow departments to keep precise information on the location of patrol cars and alleviate the need to rely entirely on the radio for officers to confirm their location and ability to respond to calls. The burden and delay in such coordination is an obvious and unnecessary barrier to responding to crime. One officer voiced the few of his colleagues in complaining “No one likes it. Who wants to be followed all over the place?” Hmmm, sounds familiar.