The use of technology in law enforcement is ever-increasing, some of which is available at a moderately reasonable cost for local agencies to afford, whereas other portions are so expensive, only the larger law enforcement agencies can afford it (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). The concept of GPS was introduced in the late 1960s. However, it was not until the 1970s when the Department of Defense began its funding for the Global Positioning System. To be more exact, it was in February 1978 the very first satellite was propelled into space and the first handheld GPS receiver was introduced by the Magellan Corporation (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). Although GPS has various applications, law enforcement agencies are searching for what fits their organizational needs the most and will proceed to purchase that specific application (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). The most significant needs for law enforcement are in the realm of auto theft inquiries, automated vehicle location, accident probes, and tactical operations, and criminal probes (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). Each of these programs serves a specific purpose that influences how GPS gets used (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). GPS's main purpose in law enforcement is to focus one a specific area or identify a current location.
For example, surveillance operations were conducted in Spokane, Washington in 1999 and in Las Vegas, Nevada, 2000 where the GPS was used. In the Washington state incident, the GPS system was attached to (2) two separate cars of a suspected murderer that eventually led law enforcement to the burial site of the offenders daughter (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). In this case GPS was instrumental in providing information that the accused visited her daughter's burial site on two different occasions after she reported her daughter missing (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). In the Nevada case, the FBI used a built in GPS device to listen secretly in on the conversation a suspected organized crime member (Anuszkiewicz, 2004). In both cases, GPS was the only instrument used to support and aid law enforcement to solve these crimes (Anuszkiewicz, 2004).