Crowdsourced traffic app Waze lets users input a lot of information about the roads they travel – accidents, construction zones, icy roads, etc. It also lets users tell each other about that cop posted up at the upcoming intersection.
And apparently, some law enforcement officers are none too thrilled about this feature.
An AP report quotes two sheriffs who recently voiced their concerns at the National Sheriffs Association winter conference. They are currently rallying support among other law enforcement groups and are pushing Google to do something about its app (Google acquired Waze for close to $1 billion in June of 2013). According to the report, the director of the Fraternal Order of Police is also worried about Waze.
“I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue,” said FOP director Jim Pasco. “There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”
Or, if you want to stalk and harm on officer. That’s the big concern.
Waze has allowed users to pin locations of police on its crowdsourced maps for some time now. The main reason it’s coming up now is thanks to cop-killer Ismaaiyl Binsley, who just so happened to post a screenshot of Waze on Instagram a few weeks before he shot two NYPD officer as they sat in their car.
There’s no indication that Brinsley actually used Waze in the commission of the crime, and there have been no reported instances of Waze factoring into a crime against police.
Still, Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia thinks Waze has the ability to be used as a “stalker’ app.
“The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action,” he said.
Image via Waze