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Google’s Waze app to alert kidnappings in LA

LOS ANGELES: Alerts about hit-and-runs and kidnappings in Los Angeles will soon pop up on traffic app Waze, along with road closure information, the West Coast city’s mayor said Tuesday.

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The agreement is part of a data-sharing partnership between LA and the Google-owned tech company announced by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The app has already begun showing street closures and will start including hit-and-run alerts and so-called Amber Alerts sent out for kidnappings in the coming months.

“This is going to be updated in real-time, every two minutes, giving motorists the information they need to… get home for dinner in time,” said Garcetti.

The agreement to add notifications about hit-and-run and kidnapping alerts was reached Monday “in a very good meeting” between Waze and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck,” the mayor said.

In January, it emerged that Beck had sent a letter to the tech company’s CEO lamenting that the Waze application posed a danger to police because of its ability to track their locations.

The LAPD chief said at the time that the shooter in a recent double murder of two New York police officers used the application to track the location of cops.

Waze is a traffic and navigation application to which users contribute information in order to share real-time road information. (AFP)

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