Sheriff's Office is Trying to Spread GPS Technology - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sheriff's Office is Trying to Spread GPS Technology

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima Sheriff's Office has laptops and a GPS tracking application in 61 of their vehicles. They are continuously working to improve the system, but at one point they didn't think they could afford the technology.

Thier longtime vendor, Spillman Technologies, gave YSO an estimate of over $120,000 to install GPS in their vehicles. That is when Yakima County's GIS (Geographic Information Services) stepped in.

GIS was able to develop an application in-house, saving YSO thousands of dollars. At an estimated cost of $170 per vehicle, plus the cost of laptops, the YSO vehicles are now fully equipped with GPS technology.

"The plan is to have all of the Yakima Valley police departments on display", says David Thompson, YSO's Chief Criminal Deputy.

Currently, the Sheriff's Office is using homeland security grant money to buy laptops for departments throughout Yakima County. Their goal is for all the departments to have GPS capabilities in the next couple of months.