New York City will begin monitoring its building inspectors via department-issued cell phones and GPS.
Starting this week, a group of 10 inspectors will be monitored. By the end of this month, all 379 will be tracked, according to The New York Times.
The tracking program is partially due to the case of former inspector Edward Marquette. He was charged last year with faking a report that he inspected a tower crane in response to a complaint. Authorities said he never visited the site, and 11 days later, the crane fell, killing seven people.
Officials have said it was unlikely the missed inspection had any relation to the incident.
Marquette has pleaded not guilty to charges. He also allegedly filed false inspection reports for cranes at two other sites.
A Buildings Department official said the agency doesn’t believe there are widespread reporting problems by inspectors. The monitoring system will also allow supervisors to dispatch the closest inspector to a building-related emergency and locate inspectors who lose contact with the department during hazardous inspections.
The union representing most inspectors doesn’t like the plan.
However, one inspector quoted by the Times said, “If you are where you’re supposed to be, you’ve got nothing to fear.” Inspectors will only be monitored while they’re on duty. When an inspector’s shift ends, the tracker will be turned off.
So, what do you think? Do safety inspectors need to be monitored? Let us know in the Comments Box below.