Police Turn to GPS to Track Violent Gang Members

Normally, police use GPS tracking bracelets to keep watch over sex offenders or to ensure that people under house arrest remain in their homes or the few other places they are legally allowed to be. However, Nashville’s Metro police have found a new class of people to keep an eye on thanks to the the trackers: gang members.

A person that was found to be involved in violent gang activity and was convicted of a serious crime would be either sent to prison and have all of their freedoms stripped, or be allowed to return to their normal lives and simply report to a probation officer on a weekly basis or so.

But what about when a dangerous person, one that was found to be heavily involved in violent gang activity, for example, finally gets out of prison? Normally he or she would be set free to return to the criminal way of life until they were arrested once again. By instituting this sytem of GPS location on released gang members, Nashville Police have been able to strictly monitor parameters and locations the ex-cons are visiting. If they’re spending an inordinate amount of time in areas typically prone to gang activity, police know. If it’s found that the person returned to the area, detectives are alerted, and might even be sent in to intervene.

By using a GPS tracking bracelet as part of their sentence, ex-cons or ex-gang members can be allowed to stay out of prison and prove to the judges or police officers that they’ve turned their lives around and abandoned the old life of crime.

“We know where you are, every second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Charles Traughber, chairman of Probation and Parole.

In a way, this might look like police are actually trying to force the person to be tracked unnecessarily, but what is really happening is that the person gets to spend time out in the real world under the watch of a tracker, instead of having to spend to spend a life behind bars.

(Via The Tennessean) / (Image by Amanda Slater, licensed under Creative Commons)

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