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Monday, August 13, 2012

GPS Vehicle Tracking system is an aid to law enforcement

When law enforcement officers sped to the Blossvale home where Adam Theall was threatening family members and his infant son in June 2010, a computer tracking system helped 911 dispatchers rush patrol cars to the scene.

Because of the GPS-style tracking system, dispatchers knew a state trooper was close by, and when Theall fired his gun as the trooper arrived, the dispatchers knew where several other law enforcement vehicles were, and ordered them to the scene.

"We were anxious of how soon help was going to be able to get to that guy,” county Emergency Services Director Kevin Revere said. “It helped to know if there were cars moving toward him, or if it was going to be a long time."

Theall shot and killed his 3-month-old son Eithen that day. No one else was harmed, and Revere said the tracking system was an important part of the law enforcement response.

Oneida County has received a $165,000 grant that will maintain the Automatic Vehicle Locator system until Aug. 31, 2014, as well as fund some records management projects and equipment purchases.
The system has been in use since 2007.

The county Board of Legislators at its regular meeting Wednesday approved the acceptance of the federal grant, which comes through the state Division of Emergency Services and Homeland Security.
Revere, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol and New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra all have praised the system. Three municipal police forces, however, aren’t part of the system: New York Mills, Boonville and Oriskany.

That is a concern for at least one county legislator who voted to accept the grant.

“We are supposed to have cooperation,” said Legislator Richard Flisnik, R-Marcy. “This is blatant as far as not cooperating.”

Flisnik noted, however, that because of the grant, there is no cost involved.


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