BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts State Police unveiled their new vehicle locator system Thursday morning, which will allow the department to track every cruiser via a GPS device.
Col. Chris Mason said the new locators will increase officer safety.
"If you could envision an event where an officer's radio became defective, or the battery ran low, or it broke, or they were in an area where there wasn't adequate radio coverage, supervisors would still have a location fix on the officers, so they'd be able to direct backup, resources to that location," he said.
Data from the locators will be displayed across a large screen back at State Police headquarters.
Col. Mason said the data wouldn't just keep troopers safe, but also aid in accountability in the wake of an overtime scandal that has embroiled the department and led to state and federal charges against several troopers and their supervisors.
"The data will be stored historically, and will be available to supervisors in real time," Col. Mason said. "They'll not only be able to do real-time assessments of where their resources are and are they in compliance with work rules, are they within the areas that they're supposed to be in, are they deployed properly, are they on the assignments that they're supposed to be on—but we'll also have the ability to go back, and if there's an issue, have that historical data available to assist with any audits."
Undercover cars, however, will not have the devices installed.
"It would create an officer safety issue," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports