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Police want Google-owned Waze to drop speed trap warnings

One of the most helpful features within the Google-owned crowdsourced traffic app Waze is the ability for drivers to warn each other about upcoming speed traps.

The application enables users to see where cops may be lurking and reduce their speed before falling foul of the boys in blue lying in wait on the side of the road.

However, the feature has come under fire from some police offers in the United States, who believe the warnings make them sitting ducks for potential cop killers.

In a letter seen by the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wrote to Google warning Waze could be “misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community.”

He added: “I am confident your company did not intend the Waze app to be a means to allow those who wish to commit crimes to use the unwitting Waze community as their lookouts for the location of police officers.”

Meanwhile, Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia threatened action against Google if it failed to remove the speed trap locator from Waze.

He told a National Sheriff’s Association meeting in Washington, last week: “The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action.”

A spokesperson for Waze said the firm’s partnerships with police around the world said: ”These relationships keep citizens safe, promote faster emergency response and help alleviate traffic congestion.”

Google did not comment on the AP’s story, but it seems hard to imagine the company will be rushing to remove this feature.

Google bought the Israeli start-up back in 2013 for a deal thought to be worth almost a billion dollars. The company has since been integrating features like traffic reports and directions within the main Google Maps app.

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