Upgraded radio system brings GPS back to deputy vehicles by 2015

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 9:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—Agencies like the Washington State Patrol have GPS to track their troopers, but the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office does not.

Many KREM 2 News viewers asked why the deputy’s cars are not equipped with technology to track them after several allegations surfaced in 2014 about on-duty misconduct. Two Spokane County deputies were accused of bad behavior while the community’s tax dollars were paying them to keep the neighborhood’s safe.

So, KREM 2 News checked in with agencies to see who had GPS technology and who does not.

“They could be held accountable for where they are and what happens if there's an incident,” said resident Eric Arnold.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Police Department were both without GPS technology in their cars. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said his agency had not had it since 2007.

“The grant ran out. Therefore the money for the software went out,” said Sheriff Knezovich.

The Sheriff said he was working overtime to be upfront and transparent with the taxpayers. He said the GPS tracking system would be back up by the end of 2014.

“With our new radio system, we are going to have the capability to have GPS back in those cars and their portables,” addded Sheriff Knezovich.

Spokane police leaders also said they were in the process of getting GPS in their cars.

Washington State Patrol said they have GPS and have had it since 2012. They said they were able to have the technology thanks to some legislature money.

Troopers said they do not experience bad behavior often in their agency. They said it is hard to pin down why that is but the GPS device does not hurt.

“I don't know that it's the best. It's another resource, but when it comes to people doing the right thing, they just have to do the right thing,” said Jeff Sevigney with Washington State Patrol.

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