The popular app Waze is meant to outsmart traffic, but police officers are concerned that a feature on the app is putting their lives at risk. They want Google owned Waze to turn off a feature that warns drivers when police are nearby.
“It’s their safety that’s at stake,” said Mary Beth Lawton Johnson of Palm Desert. “The people are here to protect us and you don’t want them to be a sitting target.”
In December, someone shot and killed two New York City Police Officers on duty in Brooklyn. The concern — Waze could show would-be cop killers exactly where to find their targets. There are no known connections between Waze and attacks on police, but some officers say it’s only a matter of time.
“I do understand what police officers concerns are and I’m in support of not only our law enforcement are safe but keeps us safe,” said Derrick Johnson who uses the app frequently.
We reached out to Waze and received this statement:
“We think very deeply about safety and security and work in partnership with the NYPD and other Police and Departments of Transportation all over the world, sharing information on road incidents and closures to help municipalities better understand what’s happening in their cities in real time. These relationships keep citizens safe, promote faster emergency response and help alleviate traffic congestion.
Police partners support Waze and its features, including reports of police presence, because most users tend to drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby.”
People we talked to agreed using Waze properly allows drivers to navigate safely and more effectively.