Personal Location Location Location
Blandshire Constabulary too claims to be able to locate all its police vehicles on demand. As a result, you have to swipe your fob when you book out a vehicle, and this triggers the location system.
The idea is genius. For example, when there is an emergency incident, the control room can now send the nearest unit rather than calling up for "any unit", or asking somebody a million miles away to start making their way.
Of course, the nearest unit may well be taking a statement, dealing with another emergency, or otherwise engaged, but then it is a simple matter to call up the next nearest unit and ask them to go. The chances are, that unit has forgotten to switch on their in-car location chip and is in fact about as far away as they could get. By this point, a unit that is reasonably near and actually available will probably have arrived on scene, making this a super-efficient service to the public.
Some people complain about the reliability. For example, only last week I got accused of being on Bramble Lane when I was in fact five miles away and going in the opposite direction on Taylor Way. But on the 1 in 10 occasion that you ARE where the system says you are, it's a valuable tool.
As such, there is a Superintendent In Charge of Locating Police Officers Who Don't Want To Be Located, and dashed good at it he is too. Two months ago I was in court when I called up on the radio to ask for assistance in dealing with a crazed prisoner trying to flee the dock. As I was pinning one leg to the floor and flailing for handcuffs I had not brought with me, my mobile rang. Hoping it might be assistance trying to find me, I answered and the Superintendent In Charge of LPOWDWTBL demanded,
"PC Bloggs, you are showing on duty today."
"Er... yes, sir?"
"There is no vehicle showing against your name."
"No, sir, I suppose there isn't."
"As you well know, you are supposed to swipe your fob to activate your vehicle location device, every time you book on duty WITHOUT FAIL. I will not tolerate this lackadaisical attitude towards force policy ." His tone could not have been smugger had he walked in on me smoking skunk and downloading child porn in the men's locker room.
"Well, sir-" I paused to receive handcuffs from a colleague and apply them. "I drove to court in my own car today, and my car isn't fitted with a fob. At least, not as far as I know."
"Ah. I see."
A week after that, a girl on my team got attacked by a bodybuilding coke user with a metal bar. Unable to free a hand up to transmit on her personal radio, she activated her emergency button and the whole team got sent to an address two miles away to assist her. Call me old-fashioned, but ever since then I just call up and tell the controller where I am, if I want them to know.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.