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City Workers Say GPS System is Big Brother - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

City Workers Say GPS System is Big Brother

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SHREVEPORT, La -

The City of Shreveport just invested more than $60,000 dollars into a GPS system to help track city work vehicles. But is the system a tool to achieve efficiency or an example of big brother intrusion?

Cordell Allen is the President of the City Wokers Local Union 13-25. Recently took his complaints to the shreveport city council. Allen said, "The city of Shreveport is basically using the GPS to do the job of Shreveport Police Officers. Nobody has a problem with it, but the way the city of Shreveport is using the system is detrimental to the employees."

Allen says documents show where city workers were disciplined for things like speeding and leaving their city-owned cars and trucks running for too long. City workers believe this is taking the GPS system too far, and sometimes, the system is just flat out wrong. In one of Allen's documents, the GPS reports a city employee was going more than 100 miles an hour on East Kings Highway. Allen says, there's nowhere on East Kings where anyone could travel that fast, especially in a city truck. "The vehicle only travels 85 miles per hour. The GPS is inconsistent. The GPS is not reliable because it's not 100% guaranteed to function like it's supposed to."

 

Barbara Featherston is the Director of Water and Sewer. Her department is testing out the new GPS devices. She says they are working out the kinks with the system, but it's also proven to be really helpful. "So when customers need something done, and they call in and we get the information, our dispatcher sees where our staff is and where the location is and we can dispatch the proper staff per that work order." Featherston says, the gps system is handy in times when a caller reports a problem then complains work isn't getting done. "The GPS shows the truck was there for 45 minutes. We were working on it, you must have missed the truck."

Idling, or leaving the city vehicle on without using it is another issue they're trying to work through. Officials say idling can damage equipment. On the other hand, workers say they leave the vehicle running for safety on hot days, so they cool off from the heat in an air conditioned cab, and so that they can leave their flashing lights on when they're on the street. "We need to take care of those things and this is a good way to make sure we're managing that fleet and managing that equipment and watching out for the safety of our employees as well."

Allen concludes, "If the GPS is in the experimental stage then no City Employee should be reprimanded orally or written until the system is fully checked out, and until that happens, city employees are subject to being harassed."

 

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