Philadelphia Housing Authority Police have become the first and only police force in the city with Global Positioning Systems in all of their marked vehicles. The system is designed to increase the department's efficiency and provide cost savings to PHA. The GPS system tracks the movement and location of all police vehicles at all times. The system allows police to efficiently manage calls for service based on the location of the police cars to produce a timely response. The system pinpoints a vehicle's location within several feet and can also track a vehicle's speed and stop and start patterns. With GPS, the PHA Police Department now has a new tool for combating crime and managing calls for service. In addition to tracking a vehicle's location, GPS technology improves efficiency. The system monitors the engine's performance measurements such as idle time and gasoline usage. It alerts the fleet manager, via e-mail, of engine malfunctions in real time. The challenge for PHA will be to harness the power of GPS for other PHA vehicles to improve service to residents and further lower agency costs. The system PHA is using was purchased from Networkcar, the provider of around-the-clock services for remotely monitoring the performance, location and security of fleet vehicles.
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