Tar Heel State Looks At GPS Tracking Devices
Law enforcement frequently call upon the most technologically advanced surveillance equipment to perform investigative work, and one of the most used devices is the GPS tracker. Designed to record and transmit real-time locational information, GPS trackers have played a critical role in the arrest of car thieves, drug dealers and various other criminals. GPS tracking has undoubtedly been instrumental in helping investigators gather concrete evidence that can place a suspect at a particular place at any given time. This is why it is no surprise to hear about legislators in the state of North Carolina seeking to expand the use of GPS tracking devices to monitor domestic violence offenders as a way of enhancing safety of the victims and accountability of the accused. Voted on by the North Carolina Generally Assembly unanimously, the bill giving judicial powers the option to require domestic violence offenders to wear GPS tracking devices, bracelets or anklets is now en route to the state Senate. What this personal tracking system would offer is an alerting feature that would notify victims and local authorities if that domestic violence offender traveled to areas they were prohibited from visiting. These locations would include places such as home or work environment of the victim. The bill was created and named after a woman named Allison Gaither who lost her life in 2009 when her estranged husband fatally stabbed her. Gaither believed her estranged husband was a threat to her personal safety and took out a domestic violence order to keep the man away from her. However, the legal document did nothing to stop the man from violating the court-ordered amount of space he was required to stay away from Gaither. The hope is that with the use of sophisticated real-time GPS tracking that a heart-breaking situation such as the one that happened to Gaither can be avoided in the future. The GPS tracking bill as it is currently worded would start at the beginning of the 3rd quarter next year (2014). The reason why the program won’t be immediately enacted is to give state legislators a way to determine an effective way to not only implement the GPS tracking program, but also find the financial resources to cover the cost of the personal safety initiative.