The NYPD's concerns are shared by the National Sheriff's Association, which emphasizes on its website: "There is NO legitimate reason for Waze to have the police locator feature!" "We believe that informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they're on the road", a spokesperson said. The letter goes on to call the feature "irresponsible", claiming that it "only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourages reckless driving".
People who drive drunk might love the crowdsourced DWI checkpoint alerts you can get on Waze.
While Waze doesn't have a driving while intoxicated (DWI) alert in particular, users can drop a checkpoint marker on the map and add more details on the icon.
"The NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application. now permits the public to report DWI checkpoints throughout New York City and map these locations", the letter says, as quoted by StreetsBlog.
But she said that sobriety checkpoints were frequently publicized in advance and that even when drivers were warned about them, they served their goal. It wouldn't be possible to easily remove exclusively for users in the NY area so the features would be removed entirely in that eventuality.
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck complained in December 2014 that Waze could be 'misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community'.
The letter was sent following Google's launch of a new feature on its Google Maps app, alerting drivers to the location of police speed cameras. Both men pointed to news reports that the man who killed the two NY police officers had posted screenshots from Waze on social media.
On Wednesday, the executive director of the sheriffs' association, Jonathan Thompson, said Waze's police feature seemed created to enable people to circumvent law enforcement.
"Using crowdsourcing doesn't stop you from breaking the law", he said. "That's a direct undermining of the rule of law". The application works via crowdsourcing, letting drivers add information about the location of crashes, delays, and other metrics in order to help reduce travel time and improve driver safety. It insisted the app's capabilities should not be allowed and could even be considered illegal.