25% Of GPS Trackers Not Working
GPS tracking bracelets and anklets are commonly used by law enforcement to monitor criminals accused of a variety of crimes from domestic violence to stalking. The GPS tracking devices are critical in public safety because the trackers report where felons are located at all times in real-time. This is helpful in determining if a pedophile is near a public school or a assault perpetrator is near a victim. Unfortunately, a recent audit by the state of California has shown that approximately 25% of the GPS trackers currently tracking criminals are not working properly. Some of the most common issues with GPS tracking devices used to monitor criminals were associated with electronic systems that could be classified as defective, false geo-fencing alarms and internal batteries that failed to hold a charge for extended period of time. In fact, some of the GPS trackers functioned so poorly that one criminal had his tracking device replaced over ten times in a single year because of incorrect locational data. During one stretch the GPS tracker was not reporting any GPS tracking data for almost an entire week! Clearly, it is a very serious concern if GPS tracking bracelets used to monitor dangerous criminals are providing incorrect information. The faulty technology has the potential to be the catalyst for disaster. However, the GPS tracking provider contracted to bring the monitoring technology to law enforcement has stated the primary issue with the GPS equipment has been probation officers without adequate training and the criminals themselves who are not complying with directions. The GPS tracking company explained scenarios where probation officers assessed dead batteries as failing equipment. Currently, GPS trackers used to monitor criminals are evaluated for performance every month, and the GPS provider themselves is evaluated annually. Some regions have had such a bad experience with GPS trackers provided by state contracts that they found their own resource for tracking devices. This is what Orange County did when they left Sentinel Offender Services, the largest provider of GPS tracking devices to the state of California. GPS trackers used to monitor repeat sex offenders, domestic violence offenders and others are typically attached to the felons using a locking mechanism that straps the tracking device to the ankle. When functioning correctly the real-time GPS trackers will transmit the exact position of the felon every 60 seconds. The GPS tracker can also notify police if a criminal tries to remove the tracking device or visits a location deemed off limits such as a victim’s workplace or home. According to the state audit on the GPS tracking hardware it was revealed that not only were numerous devices not working properly but some criminals were released without GPS trackers simply because the hardware provider ran out of working devices. The implication that GPS trackers used to monitor criminals are not working is very profound because that means it is possible that potentially dangerous felons could be engaging in criminal activity. This is something simply unacceptable considering the potential dangerous consequences. How do you feel knowing 25% of criminals wearing GPS trackers are probably not being monitored?