Building Inspectors On Watch With GPS Tracking
In the United States today there are a number of cities that have grown from small communities into booming centers of national and global economic influence. Chicago in the Midwest, New York City to the east, and Los Angeles on the west coast are just three examples, each showcasing unique culture, industries, and building architecture. As these metropolises continue to grow in population and economic power, more and more buildings are constructed to keep up with all of this prosperity. To ensure that safety regulations are enforced during the construction process, municipal law enforcement agencies have developed strict standards that building inspectors and general contractors must follow before a building is deemed inhabitable by the public at large. With all the money to be made in new construction projects, some building inspectors are prone to give in to temptation and take bribes in exchange for approval of construction work. In Los Angeles, law enforcement officers are taking a stand against this breach of loyalty with the help of GPS trackers.
David Lara, the Building and Safety spokesman for Los Angeles, recently sent a series of recommendations to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa regarding the need to activate GPS tracking devices integrated into building inspectors’ mobile phones and laptop computers in an attempt to aid local law enforcement in their fight against municipal bribery. Just a few weeks ago, the FBI claimed Hugo Joel Gonzalez, 49, and Raoul Joseph Germain, 59, were caught on video taking bribes in exchange for the approval of construction projects throughout the city. FBI and Los Angeles law enforcement stated that in some instances inspections were not even carried out, leaving a huge potential for inadequate and unsafe construction work to commence.
In a press conference following the arrests, Lara commented on the city’s plans to incorporate GPS tracking technology into the operations of their building inspectors. “For us, it’s mostly about making sure our inspectors are where they’re supposed to be,” he said. In addition, he noted that GPS tracking devices would ensure that inspectors arrived at their appointments on time and conducted the inspections when and where they are supposed to be completed. While the city will need to confer with the union before proceeding with the proposal, the need to utilize effective and affordable tools to make sure that municipal law enforcement not only has better control of where their staff is but also establish greater efficiencies in time and communication point to an obvious need to integrate GPS tracking technology as a means to ultimately make every construction project as safe as possible.