Is squad car technology distracting police officers?

Image: Gilroydispatch.com Student researchers at St. Mary's University have concluded…

Image: Gilroydispatch.com

Student researchers at St. Mary’s University have concluded that the amount of technology inside a police squad car may be contributing to a growing number of police-involved auto crashes.

Conducted at the request of the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), the Graduate School of Public Safety Administration study focuses on 378 police-involved crashes between 2006-10.

According to the SMU study, the total cost of the 378 closed crashes was $1,188,666, with distracted driving accounting for 14 percent of claims and 17 percent of costs.

Moreover, technology inside the squad car was said to have played a role in 12 percent of claims and account for 24 percent of costs.

Locally, Minnetonka Police Chief Mark Raquet said his 56-member department cannot attribute any crashes specifically to technology, except for one that was 15 years ago.

“In the past five years, there’s nothing I can say 100 percent was related to technology,” he said.

While Raquet thought the report was well done, he didn’t think it brought to light any new information.

Source: Becky Glander, Jeff Roberts and Jay Corn for Minnetonka Patch.

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