New Tools For The Crime Solver’s Kit
Montgomery County, Md., state’s attorney Douglas F. Gansler says that both crash data recorders (CDR) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are assisting law enforcement officials in reducing road accidents and carjackings.
A CDR in the car of a couple that collided with a truck determined that the truck driver was going too fast in inclement weather, while a GPS system helped a woman who had her car stolen while her children were inside recover them.
Although critics charge that these devices can put American’s right to privacy at risk, Gansler states that the data offered by these devices is not really private, since, for example, speed can be monitored by a police officer standing next to the road with a radar gun, and stolen automobiles can be tracked by police cars and helicopters. He adds that police do not employ systems such as GPS to keep an eye on the daily movement of citizens; instead, these methods are only used in unusual or emergency scenarios.
Also, there is not any secrecy involved with CDR or GPS devices, as car owner’s manuals list information about their existence and uses.
“Just as we are employing more sophisticated DNA and other technological developments in the criminal justice system, so too must we take advantage of progress in automotive technology to improve investigations and prosecutions in vehicle-related crimes,” Gansler concludes.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Washington Post (01/02/05) P. B8; Gansler, Douglas F.