Misuse of GPS at Animal Shelter Costing Taxpayers

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(Memphis) Wasting taxpayers money at the Memphis animal shelter has one former advisory board member speaking out.

She claims management refuses to use GPS tracking on the trucks to hold officers accountable for their response times.

Fewer animals are making it to the shelter these days.

Cindy Marx-Sanders, a former board member, doesn't know if it’s because of lazy officers or lack of accountability for those working in the field, but she says something must be done, “I think everyone is dropping the ball from the top to the bottom.”

Marx-Sanders said several are to blame for the Memphis Animal Shelter getting fewer stray animals off the streets.

“The GPS is the key that could turn all of this around and they're not using it,” she said.

The former Advisory Board Member says GPS trackers were installed on every field officer's truck six months ago to track officers going on service calls.

“The review of them seems spotty and sporadic at best,” she said. “A system is only as good as the person that's reviewing it and using it.”

Despite having five more officers this year, the city's website says the amount of animals brought in to the shelter has fallen by around 20 percent.

“The officers know that they're not being reviewed that they're not being called to task for what they do incorrectly, so why bother,” said Marx-Sanders.

But the system can work.

Marx-Sanders said Nashville has the same stray animal population as Memphis and found a way to use its GPS system to better serve the community.

“They’ve gone from a very low percentage of response to calls to now they respond to 90 percent of calls within two hours,” she said.

With More than $800,000 in salaries for animal control officers, Marx-Sanders says taxpayers deserve to have the shelter get the job done.

“We have the tools,” she said. “We should be utilizing the tools and making sure there is a general oversight especially when it comes to field work.”

News Channel 3 reached out to the shelter Thursday to find out how they were using the GPS trackers but never heard back.

You may remember MAS worker Demetria Hogan was charged when a dog died in her care. Although she logged she had returned to MAS with a dog, it later was learned she did not and the dog died due to heat exposure.

Some people have said GPS would have prevented that from happening.

Read more about issues at MAS

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