New York law enforcement officials want to remove a feature on a Google’s popular navigation app, Waze, which could be putting officers’ lives at risk.
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A Google spokesperson responded to the NYPD saying that they will keep the app because it allows drivers to know that speed traps are coming which results in safer driving.
“Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google,” the spokesperson said. “We believe that informing a driver about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they’re on the road.”
But Blue Lives Matter NYC President Joe Imperatrice said aside from speed traps and drunk driving, the app also puts officers’ lives at risk because it tips off drivers on their whereabouts.
“What about the individuals that transport guns and drugs? What about the individuals that are wanted for murder, robbery, rape, just stole that car,” said Imperatrice to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday. “They see this app, they can just deter themselves and go a different way. So they could have possibly been stopped taken to jail and taken off the street. But instead they are learning—they are tipped off.”
Waze is a community based GPS Navigation app that uses icons to show drivers en route traffic jams, potholes, and where other ‘wazers’ have spotted a police officer, which is what law enforcement is concerned about.
Imperatrice said back in 2014, an individual from Baltimore was accused of killing his girlfriend also allegedly used the app to take the train to New York City, opened fire and killed an officer. He is also worried about other incidents.
“I guarantee you, you sit in your car, drive around for five minutes, you see the police icon,” he said. “Anybody that’s a little deterred out there can go out and say if I want to take out a police officer I’m going to drive around see the officer on the side of the road and I’m going to take him out as well.”
There are 100 million drivers using Waze, according to the app’s website.