Miami Cops Flood Waze With Bogus Speed Trap Data, Don't Understand How Crowd Sourcing Works

from the you-think-you're-being-clever dept

We've been discussing how law enforcement organizations have started ramping up their war on the Google-owned, traffic info crowdsourcing app, Waze, in the belief that it's hindering local revenue generation. More specifically, they've been trying to stop the app and its users from reporting police speed trap locations, going so far as to make the absurd argument that the app allows citizens to become police "stalkers." Of course as noted previously, these officers are usually in plain sight and obviously marked, meaning if you really had an insane hankering to annoy a cop you can certainly do it without an app. It's also worth reminding officers that Waze users are simply having a perfectly legal conversation (just like flashing headlights or even holding up signs is legal), at least for now.

With the "mean old citizens are stalking us" defense apparently not working so well, some law enforcement agencies are turning to another, more clever (or so they think) solution: pollute Waze's data with false police speed trap locations. Officers in Miami have apparently taken to downloading the Waze app themselves just so they can flood the app with inaccurate data:
"Hundreds of officers in the Miami area have downloaded the app, which lets users provide real-time traffic information and identify areas where police are conducting speed enforcement. The local NBC affiliate says the officers are flooding Waze with false information on their activity in an attempt to make the app's information less useful to drivers. Disclosing the location of police officers "puts us at risk, puts the public at risk, because it's going to cause more deadly encounters between law enforcement and suspects," Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, tells the news outlet."
This was apparently something some Los Angeles homeowners tried as well late last year, when they reported false congestion to the app in the hopes of lessening local traffic load. Of course the very nature of crowd-sourced apps like this involves repeated false reports and unreliable users being weeded out not only by the system itself, but by more trustworthy reports from reliable Waze users with higher scores. Even if this dumb idea worked, and all Miami Waze users were confused into thinking speed traps were everywhere, wouldn't they drive slower and ruin revenue generation (what this is really about) anyway?

All the Miami police force is doing is wasting time and taxpayer money in a war on perfectly legal conversation. In fact, you could argue they're doing something worse by eroding their own safety. As it stands the Waze app isn't specifically singling out speed traps -- it allows users to mark any police location. As in, it allows users to mark any emergency vehicle at the side of the road for any reason, notifying Waze users that they should slow down. If this was truly about public safety and not revenue generation, you'd think this would at least be part of the conversation.

Still, law enforcement associations are increasing pressure on politicians (like Chuck Schumer), and Google's shown at least some flexibility on this. For me personally, it's all kind of a moot point anyway. I drove from New York to Seattle and back again last summer and found that police move positions so frequently, Waze probably indicated an accurate speed trap location around a third of the time anyway. Still, you'd hate to see any app made less useful just because it hurts a police department's ability to turn public protection into a major revenue stream.

Filed Under: crowdsourcing, fake data, miami, police, waze
Companies: google, waze


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 5:08am

    Here the thing is a little bit different. There are virtually no 'manned' speed traps, that means, the cops usually aren't following the devices even when they are mobile (there are tons of mobile automated cameras), and they don't move those mobile spots that much. So Waze reminds you if the area has stationary cameras or possibly mobile ones.

    In any case I find Waze incredibly useful for a big number of things. I don't usually speed but I do get 'distracted' by, you know, paying attention to the goddamn traffic. When I stop tracking the speed I will move at the speed I find comfortable and sometimes it's faster than the limit allowed, specially in some places where the street is wide and well maintained and the limit is like 30 kph (~19 mph) which makes me mad. So you have speed traps that actually make you divert your attention from the traffic instead of making things safer. I've got 2 speed tickets in over 10 years of driving, both because I wasn't paying attention to the speed butr rather in driving safely.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:38am

      Re:

      "When I stop tracking the speed I will move at the speed I find comfortable and sometimes it's faster than the limit allowed, specially in some places where the street is wide and well maintained and the limit is like 30 kph (~19 mph) which makes me mad."

      30kph zones are almost always playground or school zones. It might make you mad, but human reaction time doesn't change because the streets are wide and well maintained, nor do the physical laws governing stopping times and the speed/damage curve.

      But any app reminding you of where those "go slow, protect those who might do stupid things like dash in front of your car chasing a ball" zones are is good in my books -- as long as it's not polluted by false information that may make you ignore the real places where going slow enough to watch the road AND your speed is important.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re:

        It might make you mad, but human reaction time doesn't change because the streets are wide and well maintained,


        Actually, a well-maintained road WILL improve your stopping distance, because you'll get more traction.

        If a kid runs from the sidewalk into a wide street, he has farther to go until he's in your lane (especially if there's no parking on the side of the road), so you DO have more time to stop. And if there's a farmer's field on your right and some homes on your left, a kid coming from one of those homes would also have to cross another lane of traffic before he got to your lane, giving you even more time.

        There's a place I know of where the limit is 35 mph, and there's nothing there except an abandoned store and a side road that literally goes nowhere. There's no reason why the limit can't be the normal 55, and no reason for the police to enforce that artificially lowered limit - except for the revenue. There are municipalities that annex a silver of freeway just so they can post a cop there and write tickets for something that's supposed to be the state's job.

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      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 12 Feb 2015 @ 12:43am

        Re: Re:

        But that's where comfortable kicks in. In crowded places or around schools you will instinctively adopt lower speeds because they allow you to act faster and sew something wrong sooner. Besides as the guy below said the well maintained road conspires to help you if some kid runs into the road.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:34am

    Let's review who's really at risk here

    "Disclosing the location of police officers "puts us at risk, puts the public at risk, because it's going to cause more deadly encounters between law enforcement and suspects," Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, tells the news outlet."

    People killed by (US) police so far in 2015: 119
    (US) police killed by people so far in 2015: 0

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:08am

      Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

      Disingenuous data. Were the officers responding to a situation that involved a deadly weapon?
      Were the officers returning fire and just better shots?
      How many lives were saved by the actions of the officers in each of those situations?

      Your data has no meaning without the specifics.

      Most people don't like cops, until they need them.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        Most people don't like cops, until they need them.

        Can agree that the information, could easily be misleading.

        However, it still does not mean anything. People don't like cops even when they need them. The reason you ask? Because police take the default behavior of your a guilty, they just cannot prove it yet.

        Police have decided it is no longer best to work with their communities building good rapport and trust... instead, they just blindly & ignorance enforce law OVER THEM. Including some laws that do not even exist.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2015 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

          "Because police take the default behavior of your a guilty"

          That is the proper stance to take until they have all the facts... should they just come up and jovially pat you on the back when getting called to a domestic violence situation?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2015 @ 7:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

            And the rest of us will take the stance that any officer with whom we interact is one of the bad ones. Given that police are armed with Qualified Immunity in addition to everything else, silence and minimum necessary interaction with them is the only sensible option.

            No help, no good will, and no trust from anyone including bystanders and witnesses. That's the rapport LEOs are building.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 12 Feb 2015 @ 9:11pm

            Be careful that your arguments can't be turned against you

            Question: If you believe that police are justified in assuming 'Guilty until proven innocent' when dealing with the public, I would hope you would support the same the other way around then?

            Like say police busting in to a house in the middle of the night for a no-knock warrant, would a homeowner be justified in assuming the worst, and opening fire with any guns they had, injuring and potentially killing the 'robbers' before they were able to threaten their family?

            I mean, if it's acceptable for the police to automatically assume the worst in order to 'ensure officer safety', then it seems to me that it should be perfectly acceptable for those interacting with them, knowingly or not, to do the same.

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          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 13 Feb 2015 @ 10:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

            "That is the proper stance to take until they have all the facts"

            No, it's not. The proper stance is to not have a default position at all and go where the evidence takes you.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        >> Were the officers responding to a situation that involved a deadly weapon?
        Whether or not they were, they introduced a deadly weapon to the mix.

        >> Were the officers returning fire and just better shots?
        No, because then they would have hit the person in the hand, shoulder or hip. Shooting to kill should be reserved for situations where life is in immediate peril, not just where there is the threat of immediate peril.

        >> How many lives were saved by the actions of the officers in each of those situations?
        How many more lives could have been saved by better handling of those situations?

        Your questions, while valid, don't really add that much to the conversation.

        Here's a few more though:

        Was the protective gear worn by the police responsible for preventing any deaths in this period? How many otherwise fatal shots were taken by such gear in this period?

        How many people (both police and civilians) were injured in a life-altering way (meaning they will never be able to do some things they could before) because of a police interaction?

        How many reported cases of police being targeted for attack occurred during this period?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

          >> Were the officers returning fire and just better shots?
          No, because then they would have hit the person in the hand, shoulder or hip. Shooting to kill should be reserved for situations where life is in immediate peril, not just where there is the threat of immediate peril.


          In any situation where you can reliably target anything beyond "center mass," you have no reason to be firing a gun. Mind, police officers definitely need to stop resorting to tactics likely to cause escalations, but the idea of using a firearm against a person in a non-lethal manner is bogus.

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        • icon
          Tony (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 5:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

          ">> Were the officers returning fire and just better shots?
          No, because then they would have hit the person in the hand, shoulder or hip. Shooting to kill should be reserved for situations where life is in immediate peril, not just where there is the threat of immediate peril."

          Shooting to wound is hollywood fantasy, not something that exists in reality. Even attempting to do so drastically increases the chance of missing completely - and WHERE DOES THAT BULLET GO?

          People simply can't shoot that accurately under stress circumstances, even those as "highly trained" as police (who qualify at the range about once per year, vs. civilians who carry who typically shoot at least once per month)

          Given how often cops miss already, do you really want them trying to hit smaller targets? Talk about bullets flying all over...

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

            "Shooting to wound is hollywood fantasy, not something that exists in reality."

            It happens in other countries, as well as firing "warning" shots, but not here in the US, where cops are trained to always shoot to kill if they shoot at all. That means rapid-firing at least a half-dozen bullets in the blink of an eye, rather than in the old days, when firing more than a couple shots at a time was rare (and more than six at a time non-existent) . Perhaps it was the belief that most people would immediately surrender when the first shot is fired, so it was better to let them surrender with an absolute minimum of (lethal) force. But today, plenty of Youtube videos prove that people who stop and raise their hands will continue to get fired on multiple times.

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            • icon
              Tony (profile), 12 Feb 2015 @ 6:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

              "It happens in other countries, as well as firing "warning" shots"

              I call BS. You're going to have to provide evidence of that claim. And not just anecdotal - show me that this is the training.

              Anyone who shoots a gun for defensive purposes is trained to shoot center of mass. The reason for this is simple - it is more difficult to hit a smaller target, meaning a) you are less likely to eliminate the thread and b) you now have a bullet going SOMEWHERE that it wasn't intended to go. Where will it end up? Given how far they can travel, it could easily end in in someone else. Good idea - let's have more bullets going who the hell knows where.

              Same goes for warning shots. They are incredibly dangerous. That bullet has to come back to the ground somewhere and it will be traveling just as fast when it does. I have a niece who was hit by such a bullet - so warning shots? No thanks.

              And for the record, I am not a cop, and I am sickened by how they operate anymore. But policy by fantasy is terrible policy.

              Please, go take a basic shooting skills class. Learn a little something about reality.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2015 @ 10:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

                "I call BS. You're going to have to provide evidence of that claim. And not just anecdotal - show me that this is the training."

                "United Nations released a report documenting a surge in shootings like Malek’s. According to witnesses, doctors and rights groups, many come as the result of an extreme crowd control tactic used by the Israeli military, where soldiers are given special rifles to shoot demonstrators in the legs when protests turn violent."

                source: http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2014/10/20/israel-crowd-control-palestinian-west-bank-ammunition/296 97

                Warning shots are apparently standard practice for police in Germany, where police *nationwide* fired about as many warning shots as aimed shots.

                "According to the German Police University, police officers used exactly 85 bullets in 2011 - 49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed."

                source: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/09/german-police-fired-85-bullets.html
                source: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/polizei-schoss-2011-seltener-im-dienst-a-832037.html


                "Same goes for warning shots. They are incredibly dangerous. That bullet has to come back to the ground somewhere and it will be traveling just as fast when it does."

                Not even close. Shoot a rifle straight up, and the bullet will hit the ground at about one tenth of the muzzle velocity (handguns about one fifth).

                "Hatcher calculated that his .30-caliber rifle bullets reached terminal velocity—the speed at which air resistance balances the accelerating force of gravity—at 300 feet per second. You might die from a bullet moving at that speed, but it's unlikely. Lighter bullets, like those fired from a 9mm handgun, max out at even lower speeds, between 150 and 250 feet per second, according to computer models."

                source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/03/watch_out_for_falling_bullets.html

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                • icon
                  Tony (profile), 13 Feb 2015 @ 6:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

                  "United Nations released a report documenting a surge in shootings like Malek’s. According to witnesses, doctors and rights groups, many come as the result of an extreme crowd control tactic used by the Israeli military, where soldiers are given special rifles to shoot demonstrators in the legs when protests turn violent."
                  source: http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2014/10/20/israel-crowd-control-palestinian-west-bank-ammunition/296 97

                  - ok, fair enough, but let's look with the operative phrase here "where soldiers are given special rifles to shoot demonstrators in the legs" - you're basically saying our cops should do this - but you're talking about special training and special weapons. The typical cop as nowhere NEAR that sort of training. I wouldn't argue, for example, that a Marine Sniper could do exactly that - having time to take aim, not being in the thick of things. But you're asking for the same for a typical cop on the street, in the middle of a stress situation. You're not comparing the same thing.

                  This is what happens more often: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5963288/ "Officers fired 16 rounds at Pena and into his house, according to both the lawsuit and the district attorney's report." - note that he was hit twice. What happened to those other 14 bullets? Our cops are bad enough shots as it is.

                  "Warning shots are apparently standard practice for police in Germany, where police *nationwide* fired about as many warning shots as aimed shots."

                  - doesn't change the fact that they are dangerous.

                  "Not even close. Shoot a rifle straight up, and the bullet will hit the ground at about one tenth of the muzzle velocity (handguns about one fifth)."

                  - ok, maybe I have the math wrong. I will grant I did not do the calculations. Doesn't mean they're not dangerous. I know one person personally who was almost killed by a shot fired into the air. There are reports of such things all the time (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356851/Seven-year-old-boy-dies-hit-stray-bullet-fired-air- walked-July-4-fireworks-display.html). (Funny, I expected you to suggest shooting a warning shot into the ground, which I wouldn't have an objection to)

                  I won't at all argue that our cops don't use force far too often. I won't argue that they're not trigger-happy thugs who get off on shooting. It sure seems that they are. But shooting people in a crowd using a special rifle is not the same as a confrontation from 10 feet away that's over in seconds. Show me THAT situation and you might make me a believer.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        Most people don't like cops, until they need them.

        Well, hopefully, they won't be so preoccupied entering bogus Waze data, that they'll actually be available when they're needed.

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      • identicon
        Dick, 11 Feb 2015 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        If only there were some type of app that we could use that had accurate data on where to find them when we need them.

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      • icon
        JMT (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 4:01pm

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        "Most people don't like cops, until they need them."

        When they need them, most people expect cops to turn up and do their damn job, whether they like them or not.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 4:31pm

        Re: Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

        I like cops. Problem is, the number of cops in this country is dwindling. Now all we're getting is guys with guns and badges.

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    • identicon
      Art, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:40pm

      Re: Let's review who's really at risk here

      Are you an idiot as you are incorrect in the number of officers killed by the us population? Do you not read or listen to current events as there have been at least three officers shot/killed in the line of duty for 2015.

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  • icon
    Marceps (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:40am

    "... it's going to cause more deadly encounters between law enforcement and suspects."

    Sounds like a threat.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 1:45pm

      Re:

      To me this sounds like they are shooting at people for driving too fast or in this case too slow because if people know the police is there they will probably slow down.

      Correct me if Im wrong but doesn't that mean if you drive a car and know a cop is close they will shoot you because "how dare you to know they are there"?

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  • icon
    Daniel (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:43am

    DDoS or ToS

    I have to wonder how their actions are no different than a DDoS attack or at the very least a ToS violation. In any case, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't garner themselves a fun-to-read C&D by Waze/Google's lawyers. Waze would almost need to if it hopes to prevent repeats by other LEO's.

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    • identicon
      Kevin, 11 Feb 2015 @ 5:43pm

      Re: DDoS or ToS

      It's actually a federal offense to tamper with a corporate computer network if it causes more than $5k in damage, which is exactly what this is. Title 18 U.S.C. §1030. At MySpace we put several site abusers in the federal pen for this. It is easily provable that this type of activity costs Waze/Google at least $5k to combat, simply by having developers just look at the code a few times.

      Cops are knowingly/unknowingly committing a federal offense for the purpose of collecting ticket revenue. Typical.

      The tactic of flooding the site with illegitimate speed trap data makes the app less valuable to drivers. Once they abandon the app there's little chance they'll go back to it when the cops stop tampering, breaking federal law.

      Too bad about the crowd sourcing and quickly soiled reputations, but they can always attack that by creating accounts en masse and then using them to drive up another dummy user's reputatio.

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    • identicon
      Kevin, 11 Feb 2015 @ 5:43pm

      Re: DDoS or ToS

      It's actually a federal offense to tamper with a corporate computer network if it causes more than $5k in damage, which is exactly what this is. Title 18 U.S.C. §1030. At MySpace we put several site abusers in the federal pen for this. It is easily provable that this type of activity costs Waze/Google at least $5k to combat, simply by having developers just look at the code a few times.

      Cops are knowingly/unknowingly committing a federal offense for the purpose of collecting ticket revenue. Typical.

      The tactic of flooding the site with illegitimate speed trap data makes the app less valuable to drivers. Once they abandon the app there's little chance they'll go back to it when the cops stop tampering, breaking federal law.

      Too bad about the crowd sourcing and quickly soiled reputations, but they can always attack that by creating accounts en masse and then using them to drive up another dummy user's reputatio.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:33pm

        Re: Re: DDoS or ToS

        Once they abandon the app there's little chance they'll go back to it when the cops stop tampering, breaking federal law.
        1. Google sells Waze to an EU company.
        2. TAFTA/TTIP passes with ISDS.
        3. Belgium is awarded ownership of Florida in full.

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  • icon
    marcel (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:56am

    safety or money?

    I thought that speedtraps were there so that people would drive slower so that the roads are safer. Apparently I have been very naive and it's all about the benjamins anyway.

    Also how is a speedtrap report going to cause a police officer to die?

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    • identicon
      Officer Friendless, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:23am

      Re: safety or money?

      If the local police can't bring in enough revenue, they'll have to lay off police officers. Since police officers aren't trained to do any real job, they'll have trouble finding one (especially one that will allow them to act like the rules don't apply to them). After their unemployment runs out, they'll starve and die...

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: safety or money?

        -- After their unemployment runs out, they'll starve and die...

        Natural selection at its finest.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re: safety or money?

        Ironic isn't it, they have a job to bring in revenue but they need revenue to have the jobs. Personally I would prefer they solve real crime rather than run speedtraps and such.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:54am

      Re: safety or money?

      Interestingly, where I live, all speed trap locations need to be publicly advertised in advance (I can't recall how long in advance, but they have to publicly release a schedule of where they'll be setting them up). Since this information is already public, and has been for my entire life, I can't see Waze causing an increase in the virtually non-existent targeted attacks on speed trap locations.

      Of course, Florida is a completely different situation. It's got to the point where there are some areas where the regular police do not unlock/leave their vehicles. I'd say Waze is the least of their issues in these areas.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 6:58am

    Those poor, poor, persecuted police...such a risk they take, riding around in a clearly marked police vehicle, with lights all over it, sidearm, club, taser, and a trunk full of small/mid-size firepower.

    And now citizens *gasp* knowing where they are!

    How can they be expected to remain riding around in their clandestine state with this app ruining their cover?

    Oh, the humanity!

    /s

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    • identicon
      AJ, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:38am

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      You think it's such a safe, easy job, you do it. You sound more jealous than anything else.

      Hey, I think what Miami cops are doing is silly and pointless and has no merit. But your comment is equally pointless and shows no appreciation for the danger these guys place themselves in on a daily basis.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:23am

        Re: Re:

        This is from 2 years ago.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/22/americas-10-deadliest-jobs-2/

        This is from last year.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-jobs-in-america-2014-12

        Being in law enforcement DOES NOT even make the top ten list for most dangerous jobs in the United States. That's according to actual facts and evidence.

        Those guys DO NOT place themselves in that much danger on a daily basis. Contrary to misguided popular belief or their own (flat out lying) words.

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        • icon
          Karl Bode (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Seriously, if you want to see a profession that takes some stones, go watch cellular tower climbers work sometime.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not only that, but for most LEOs, the most dangerous part of their jobs is domestic disturbance calls. There's pretty good guidelines for on-the-street encounters, and the science of defusing a potentially fatal public situation is pretty well known globally.

          Waze isn't going to influence domestic disturbance issues.

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          • icon
            lucidrenegade (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not only that, but for most LEOs, the most dangerous part of their jobs is domestic disturbance calls.

            I thought it was eating a doughnut without choking.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Jack, 11 Feb 2015 @ 3:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Statistically, the most dangerous part of their job is just driving around very poorly - accidents seem to be the #1 cause of death to police officers pretty consistently. Coincidentally, most of the deadly accidents they have to be their own faults.

              Statistically, an officer is most likely to be killed by themselves...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:28am

        Re: Re:

        If they think the job's too dangerous for them, they're welcome to leave, and find a safer one. Perhaps gas station attendant? Cab driver? Cattle rancher? Construction worker?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Zonker, 11 Feb 2015 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, as shown in the Business Week article posted by Anonymous Coward above, construction workers (10th most dangerous) and cattle ranchers (8th most dangerous) are more dangerous than police work (not even in the top 10). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if cab drivers and gas station attendants were more dangerous jobs than police work too.

          Or did I miss the sarcasm in your post? Probably missed the sarcasm.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yeah, that was the joke, all of the jobs I listed are more dangerous than police work, society doesn't give any of them nearly the rights to lethal force that police have, yet they somehow manage to get along just fine.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re:

        I see we have a cop (or cop supporter) trolling today...question is, are you doing this "on the clock?"

        Mistaking jealousy for sarcasm wasn't totally unexpected...I wouldn't expect a cop's ego to allow for such blasphemy without reminding me how grateful I should be (that's sarcasm again, in case you missed it).

        But to put it simply, if they're afraid of the risk, then they can certainly do what everyone else in the country has the freedom to do - find another line of work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        danger they put themselves into.

        Personally I think they make their jobs much harder by supporting brutality against citizens. As well as staying silent when they see their fellow officers break their oaths.

        If you beat a dog enough times eventually it will start biting you on sight. Then most people will say it the kickers fault in the first place, while supporting the dog.

        If that was too much to grasp. police are facing an irate and violent public because they keep beating up and murdering unarmed people with zero accountability because of it.

        They have a hostile work environment because they made it that way. This should not be a combat zone where police treat citizens like enemy combatants

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:55am

        Re: Re:

        go to the CDC/etc and look up the stats by occupation for how many are killed on the job...
        (you won't believe me)
        THEN come back and tell me how rough the donut-eaters have it...
        IF we go by your 'metric', cabbies and min-a-mart clerks should be the highest paid, bravest people in our country...
        urine authoritarian idjit...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jimmy (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:04am

    Just post actual signs

    My hometown is a pretty notorious speed trap (and they will try to get you on any other minor infraction they can). Several locals have been fed up enough about it, that they have posted large signs that say "Caution: Speed Trap Ahead". Its all on private property, so there is nothing that the cops can do about it. The city council received so many complaints for a particular section of road that they attempted to de-annex that portion of the road to stop the police force from writing tickets on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:05am

    call it what it is, disinformation

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:09am

    My city's official website lists the address of all the police stations. They are actively telling the world where cops can be found 24 hours a day, putting them all in danger!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      It should also list every donut shop in town to get a more complete picture.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      But police stations these days are surrounded by concrete barricades and razor wire fences, forcing people to get out of their cars (no drive-up windows) and walk through a gauntlet of remote-control-lockable doors and video cameras to reach a human sitting behind an inch-thick bulletproof glass window.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re:

        Dont forget the laser sharks in the body of water sorrounding their fortress's.....i mean, its sharks man....with lasers on their heads

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re:

        ...police stations...are surrounded by concrete barricades and razor wire fences... Not in my area; I feel sorry for you.
        ...no drive-up windows... Never had these.
        ...walk through a gauntlet of remote-control-lockable doors... You get to walk through one door during business hours, other times there's a doorbell. Then you get to the electrically locked doors.
        ...video cameras... Always had these.
        ...a human sitting behind an inch-thick bulletproof glass window... Always had this too.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...police stations...are surrounded by concrete barricades and razor wire fences..."
          Not in my area; I feel sorry for you.


          Those "concrete barricades" are not just the obvious highway divider types, more often than not they're strategically-placed sculptures, raised-bed planters, and/or giant flower pots that will prevent a car or truck from smashing into the building, just like has happened in so many Hollywood movies.

          With good landscaping design, these barricades are completely blended into the scenery and unnoticeable -- except to someone with a trained eye.

          http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/planting-fall-flowers-20-600x400.jpg

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Indeed. The razor wire thing's a bit odd -- better to plant boxwood and similar plants that have inch-long spikes but make nice looking hedges. Hide some razor wire inside the hedge if you really want to.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No police station that I've seen in my state has barricades of any sort, not even hidden ones like you've described. They also lack the gauntlet of locked doors. They do have cameras and bullet-proof glass, but that's all.

            Do you live in a war zone or something?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Jimmy (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...no drive-up windows... Never had these."

          My small town police station technically does have a "drive-up window", its just not in use anymore. They relocated to an old bank, which still has the teller window attached.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Art, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Where do you live as I have yet to come across a barricaded police station? Do you make this information, being nice calling it information , up?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:20am

    well, i guess giving the impression of martial law is better then anything

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:31am

    Walking through the forest while seeing no trees

    See, the thing is that the officers only see the white areas on the Waze "map". Those are the areas where there are no officers, which Waze is obviously promoting as lawless, free speed zones; where the officers could get a lot of revenue but there are no officers there.

    They can't see anything else: If the Waze map were a forest, they'd walk right through and never see a tree.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 7:35am

    Ahhhh, they must be using the, uncontrolled inovation and hold back progress law

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:01am

    Just wait until Google partners with Cobra so that radar detectors that are connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone app automatically transmit data to Waze. You know it's going to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:13am

    They're doing this while on the clock? Spending their work time sending false reports to Waze?
    Do they consider this part of their job duties? Because I don't think that's what we're supposed to be paying them for.

    (Yes, I know, they do far worse things while on the job, but still...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:34am

    CFAA violation?

    Does Waze have a TOS that prohibits knowingly submitting false data?

    If so the broad interpretations of the CFAA could be used against Miami PD.

    Funny to think that Miami PD are possibly committing federal felonies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brian (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:37am

    Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 5A: Knowingly causes the transmission of a [...] command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;

    I would like a prosecutor to get them for a CFAA violation, because we all know how it can be applied broadly... I would argue that the servers they sent their commands to were protected computers (need user account), they subsequently caused damage to the data (false reports), and all of that was unauthorized (Waze terms of service).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me, 11 Feb 2015 @ 8:50am

    this is all about ticket quotas

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:08am

      Re: this is all about ticket quotas

      The underlying issue is deeper than ticket quotas. It's about anticipating and budgeting ticket revenue. That's the core problem. Any ticket quotas are a symptom of the deeper problem. Ticket quotas lead to ways of entrapping people into speeding, and thus speed traps.

      When ticket revenue becomes part of the operating budget, then problems will emerge.

      Speed traps have nothing to do with increasing public safety.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:08am

      Re: this is all about ticket quotas

      Yep, I think this is obviously the case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:04am

    FWIW if the police want to do this I don't have a problem with them reporting where they are. If they want it to stick though they need to wait long enough for someone else to go past and verify them as present in that location.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hey You (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 9:34am

    Hand Held Device???

    I don't get it. How do you use a hand held device while driving??? How different is this from texting while driving?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:04am

    providing false information on an app that helps people drive more safely.

    Another fine moment in policing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 12:43pm

    It's all BS

    didn't they say that about cb radio's too

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cosmicrat, 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:28pm

    Violation?

    "Officers in Miami have apparently taken to downloading the Waze app themselves just so they can flood the app with inaccurate data"

    Doesn't this mean they are violating the CFAA?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Frost (profile), 11 Feb 2015 @ 10:39pm

    For-profit policing is insanely stupid.

    The police is supposed to be an organization dedicated to upholding the law and protecting the public. For that reason, it HAS to be fully tax payer funded. Giving the police a profit motive for enforcing the law is guaranteed to lead to massive problems. The US already has a mass quantity of cases where cops straight-up legally rob people on the roads, and when they have a financial vested interest in "catching criminals" so you can then seize everything they own, they will almost certainly overreach again and again.

    Fines and the like should go straight to the federal government, or somewhere where the cops levying them doesn't gain money for their own organization directly. Send all the fines straight to social services or something and give the police the same yearly budget allocation fully tax-payer funded instead of making them money-chasing thugs like now.

    Having the cops worried about making money is asinine and guaranteed to lead to massive problems. Like this, now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fail, 12 Feb 2015 @ 4:47am

    My last job as of writing this was in a desktop support position for a large company part of that support was for the local State Police. Let me tell you I was impressed if they could turn on a computer. I am also not surprised they have no idea how Waze works (or the meaning of "crowd-sourced").

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    iceberg (profile), 12 Feb 2015 @ 7:13am

    How awesome would it be if Waze data-mined these reports to indicate with high-probability which users were likely to be cops? Waze can apply this generally; just look at the data-set of user-submitted police reports, and correlate that with stationary Waze users frequently found in an area when those reports were generated- and BOOM!

    The result would be a database of Waze users most likely to be cops, and then Waze can utilize that data-set against them-- for example, users suspected to be cops can continue to make as many reports as they like, and Waze will populate that suspect's feed, and pollutes ONLY his feed with all those bogus reports so that he continues to believe his mischievousness is effective.

    Waze would then transform into a more useful police-carried beacon, even when that cop is on the move his whereabouts will be updated in real-time to all other non-suspected police users and unknown to him. This is far more useful then using the freshness of reports to gauge the accuracy of a cop still being located at a speedtrap 10 minutes prior.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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