Pilot Program Uses GPS Technology To Track Sex Offenders

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than 1,100 registered sex offenders live and work in Allegheny County and 43 of them are now wearing monitoring devices as a condition of their parole.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala blames the nature of the crime for the need to better track these offenders.

“Because the psychology of the crime of the criminal actually is, they will re-offend and so we’re looking at persons who are recidivists,” Zappala said.

The offenders are monitored by places like Guardian Protection Service. The system uses GPS technology.

As long as the offenders stay in the inclusion area, they’re OK, but if they travel into an exclusion area, police are notified immediately.

“Exclusion zones for example [are] schools, daycares, playgrounds, facilities where children congregate for those sex offenders,” John Hudson, a security consultant, said. “We’ve identified in their red zones. If an offender with a device goes into one of the red zones, an exclusion zone, we’ll be notified immediately.”

“On the policing side, it’s really important for the community to know that once these bracelets are put on these guys the police can watch them 24/7,” Zappala.

KDKA’s Bob Allen tested the system by putting on a bracelet and driving to the Woodland Hills High School parking lot in Churchill.

The system tracked him the whole way down the Parkway East to the school. Within 30 seconds after driving on school property, the pager went off warning him he was in an exclusion zone.

The GPS system worked. In a real situation, any convicted sex offender wearing a bracelet and caught in one of the red zones would be arrested and possibly sent back to prison.

“These particular offenders we know where they are 24/7, the police patrol with purpose,” Zappala said. “If you have children especially, I think that’s really significant.”


One Comment

  1. RRB says:

    But if they were in jail we wouldn’t need these would we?

  2. Hank Warren says:

    First, it will ne sex offenders, then high level criminals, then people who own websites. Endless GPS tracking, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    1. John C says:

      hank, it’s time you leave this country. if I had my way the bracelet would explode if a sex offender would enter a red zone. I want everyone strip searched on my flight and I still have my guns.

      1. Cale Rader says:

        would be better as a collar

      2. bob says:

        John, aren’t locked up in Tucson? How are getting a computer?

      3. Chad says:

        No John maybe it’s time you leaved this country for I don’t know North Korea. This is the land of the free home of the brave. I don’t feel sorry for sex offenders, but if we need to track them so badly then they shouldn’t be out of prison. Sex offenders are only the scapegoat to get the grid in place to put this on law abiding citizens just like Muslim boogymen have turned us into wimps asking the government to grab our genitals. Wake up sir.

    2. Gordon says:

      Hank, your wrong. First it will be braclet on the sex offender then a micro chip on the head or in the right hand. then when that works so well it will go to kids to keep them safe, crazy people, old people, then the general public all in the name of safety. MAYBE if we are real lucky they can put my credit card info on it and I can run my hand over a scanner………the gov’t would never abuse this technology, they are looking out for us…….LOL

      1. Gordon says:

        I do think Jason said it right “Perhaps castration is the best solution”

  3. Kevin says:

    “Because the psychology of the crime of the criminal actually is, they will re-offend and so we’re looking at persons who are recidivists,” Zappala said ”
    If this is the case ALL released prisoners should were GPS devices upon release. As US citizens are, in general, stupid nanny-state loving sheeple, this would make us all ‘feel” better….

    1. Gregory Casamento says:

      I love how some people categorize ALL Americans in one group and say we’re ALL sheep, willing to take whatever is pushed on us by the government.

      I’m a member of the ACLU and, while I don’t speak for that organization, it has a very strong presence which helps to strike a balance. I, personally, have fought against acts in the US which would have severely limited the rights of people here in the US to exercise free speech online.

      Not all of us are sheep.

      Lo-jacking people like is described here is wrong in so many ways it’s not even funny. The government will, undoubtedly, start using this technology to track everyone once it’s perfected. That can’t be allowed to happen. The best thing that can be done to prevent it is to write your congressman and, perhaps show up at their office to explain to them that you don’t like such things. Beyond that there are other ways of fighting such stupidity.


  4. sigh really says:

    really? so hey you can track the sex offender, but lets just ignore the fact that there might be 200 prior drug offenders, 10 murderers, 50 people who have previously assaulted someone…etc etc..etc…living in the area.

    i guess as soon as you say “think of the children” you can violate any rules and the constitution.

  5. chuck says:

    If the nature of the crime almost guarantees recidivism, why are these people being let go? Either they’ve served their time under the law, or they are a danger to society and should not be allowed to go free. You can’t have it both ways.

    1. John says:

      I agree. Sex offenders, especially those of children are some of the worst crimes, but they either need to have their sentences made longer if they really are still dangerous or let them be. Otherwise, it’s impossible to live a normal life once you have served your time.

      For instance, what if there’s no possible route for them to drive to work without passing a school… or what if they hit a stop light while passing one and go over the 30 second rule. I clearly don’t advocate putting these individuals in situations where children are, but I also understand that after serving their time in prison they will in no way ever have a chance of leading a normal life. Further, putting all “sex offenders” in the same category as child molesters is a horrible policy. For those places that charge people urinating in public as a sex offense I find it abhorent that they’d lump those individuals in with a rapist or a child molester. Clearly, they’re far cries from each other but we have created the slippery slope.

      1. bob says:

        John, I sorry, but as an adult looking back, I would have rather had someone take/look-at naked pictures of me (about 80% of the crimes again children) instead of some blowing my brains out, or feeding me dope. But that’s just me.

      2. Bill S says:

        I agree John. Leave the child molestors alone so they can live normal lives and pay taxes like the rest of us besides their recividism rate is 5-6%. They get out of jail and they mind their own business. Rapists need the monitoring devices or more jail time as their recividism rate is 60%. Their mind/imagination is their greatest enemy.

  6. Craven Sanity says:

    How many of the offenders actually wandered into a school or day care to commit their crimes? In all likeliihood, the vast majority assualted their daughters, kids on the soccer team they coached, Boy Scout troop or alter boys, not strangers To monitor their location prevents no crimes as the technology cannot (yet) tell the Stasi what the monitored person is doing, only where he/she is at the time. I am sure some technology company is working on it though, an embedded, IP cam to broadcast a perverts-eye-view. And the powerful cop lobby will get morefunding to pay for more staff to monitor the cams 24/7 to ensure aren’t up no good. They’ll know if the parolee even starts to think about perving out when his gaze lingers too long on a potential victim.
    “We have suspicious activity on Parolee Moe Lester. We better take him down now, he’s been staring at that puppy for more than 3 minutes!”

    1. bob says:

      That is way, way to logical. I say a stat that said something like 90% of sex crimes against children are done a family member or someone that is close to the the family. I say that once a child is born, father, brothers, uncles, etc should where these GPSs and not be allowed within 1500′ of all children. That would fix it.,

  7. August says:

    These child sex offenders are let out and the homeless veterans are locked up for the crime of sleeping outside…..Absolutely Insane

    1. KingTesticusGuile says:

      amen brother! i have been called a “pervert” by the cops and i assure you all i am not. i’m just “feral” as i like to say it. i’im not homeless, i’m feral… temporarily. if anything, the homeless, regular joes and janes, even hardened criminals who have killed 16 people would rise up against ANY pedophile!

  8. Doug says:

    I think the real question is, how is this in any way acceptable? Once a person has served their time, and fulfilled their rehabilitation, why do we continue to stigmatize these people. I thought our justice system was supposed to give the opportunity for redemption and forgiveness.
    What’s to keep these from being used to track other groups? It’s a dangerous road, and one best not traveled.

  9. sail says:

    What ever happened to serving your time and then getting on with one’s life. I just don’t see labeling someone so they become a lifetime burden on society. It’s hard enough for me to accept the $30 billion at need to borrow from China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, etc (half of the projected deficit spending relative to the $62 billion it takes to maintain prisons) to put non-violent, victimless offenders behind bars. It’s really hard for me to accept massive labeling that keep these people on food stamps and substitutes for the rest of their lives. An evil society creates evil people

    1. Michael says:

      I am somewhat amused (I appreciate irony) by all the righteousness displayed in the comments above.

      As to Sail’s concerns, I would also like to point out that it is extremely easy nowadays to land with a sex-offender status.

      Have naked pictures of your child that you shared via e-mail with other family members or friends? Guess what, if anybody in law enforcement has enough of a bone to pick with you, you WILL become a sex offender.

      Your 17 years old kid has a younger girlfriend? Guess what, if they end up having sex when he’s 18, he’s a sex offender.

      Have some crude-humor comics drawings depicting sex acts? Well, if somebody decide one of the depicted characters is underage, you are a sex offender.


      | |

      The above is a depiction of a minor having sex with an adult. Congratulations, you are now a sex offender.

      “First they came… blah blah blah, American Idol is on.”

  10. IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!! says:

    U$A: THIRD WORLD RISING – http://www.BorderInvasionPics.com

  11. am says:

    come on…thousands of us know that sex offenders, not caught… have been in the white house and in congress. so they are making laws…to make themselves look righteous when in fact they are perverts. check out the secret clubs that are perverts and have ruined this country and yet…they themselves don’t want any Christian religion but pagan gods so they themselves can enjoy their sin for a season. they are pushing gay agenda’s and laugh at this country falling apart and yet want America to be enslaved to more laws yet they themselves laugh at the 10 commandments. God knows and their time is short and they will be judged by Almighty God for a hell they laugh at.

  12. clarese76 says:

    This GPS tool would be useful to the probation/parole department for all levels of criminal offense, and would not be in violation of the offender’s rights. They have yielded their rights through their own actions, and probation/parole is a conditional release i lieu of prison/jail time. The trouble with such a program is data overload and understaffing and mistakes will be made and there is a possibility that could get an offender thrown back into jail for something they didn’t do. Once a person completes the conditions of probation/parole they have served their time, and further monitoring would be unconstitutional with the exception of the sex offender. The sex offender registry is necessary considering the true danger that possess within them. GPS monitoring is a good idea for this group, and there appears to be enough staff to make this program effective. However, expansion of this concept would be an erosion of civil liberties, and must be resisted before law enforcement has a chance to undermine the constitution further in the interest of security.

    1. Carl says:

      So you advocate selective monitoring? Why not for murderers, too? If someone demonstrated that he can willfully take a life, why should he not be monitored for the rest of his? Why not monitor repeat DUI offenders using alcohol bracelets for the rest of their lives? Sex offenders are singled out because everyone has collectively decided that those are the worst crimes of all, and everyone just loves hating some group for one reason or another, but that group is easiest of all, and Constitutional rights and our penal system’s rules become moot.

  13. Ree Al says:


    They are all teaching your kids at the local public schools.
    Those sex offenders never call out for the day, their porn being your kids.

  14. sail says:

    ‘The sex offender registry is necessary considering the true danger that possess within them’

    clarese76, the SO registry is a joke. Even law enforcement people will tell you this. It is a vehicle designed to label and further destroy lives. Just like the stars, the “Ps” and triangles that the Nazis required their citizens to wear during pre-WWII, the SO list is an electronic version. These lists are a perversion of the justice system. There are no murder’s lists for those have killed, there are no fraud lists for those who have defrauded the taxpayer, there are no firearms lists for those who have indirectly killed. The SO list consist of teen lovers, public urinators, naked runners, digital picture viewers, etc. It’s a way labeling someone so they become a lifetime burden on society

  15. Irish67 says:

    There needs to be greater delineation in the definition of sex offenders. For the most part the registry is absolutely useless because of it’s inclusion of people who have done nothing wrong. If an 18 year old has sex with his 16 year old gf, he’s registered as a sex offender, etc. Until the police start delineating between non-dangerous and dangerous sex offenders this list is a farce.

  16. No forethought? says:

    Today’s sex offenders are tomorrow’s suicide bombers.

  17. Eric says:

    I understand their reasoning, but it’s faulty logic at work. I agree with others there can be a slippery-slope with this technology, but the real point is this:

    Cops are only notified if they leave the inclusion area. What’s the point? So you mean to tell me if they’re in the inclusion area they can’t possibly be committing a crime? Get real. This device will do nothing to solve the problem.

  18. William Keeley says:

    There are numerous places to order cellphone/gps jammers. Just keep the people in jail or in a grave, and the problem will be solved. There is no need in violating the constitution to resolve the issue.

  19. pjd says:

    Waste of money. Sex offenders are among those who have earned the death penalty. Just use a rope. It is against common decency and sane thinking to allow these awful creatures to hurt time and time again. Those who’s hearts bleed for the perps should be in a mental institution.

  20. pjd says:

    Correction to pjd: Those whose hearts….

  21. Wake Up says:

    It’s your children that are doomed to a life such as this. This country keeps taking away everything it was built on FREEDOM! I am old and on my way out so I most likely won’t live to see much more of this mess, but your children will have to deal with it a long long time !EVERYONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP IT IS ALMOST TOO LATE!!

  22. JohnB says:

    I know there are offenders out there that really need to be tracked but I also feel that there a lot of people that are labeled offenders that are not. There’s people that were 24 years old with 17 year olds that were charged as an offenders. If the person was 34 and 27 no one would think anything of it. There is no common when it comes to labeling people offenders.

    Which is bad because it makes it harder to track the true offenders.

  23. Alert the Public says:

    I think they should set up a website for public access to the GPS locations. You could log on and then make a decision like, “Guess what, kids? We’re not going to this park today. Let’s go somewhere else.”

  24. Noah_Fing-whey says:

    I didn’t know there were that many pilots who were sex offenders. Nyuk nyuk

  25. Frank says:

    Electronic GPS devices, like exclusion zones, give everyone a false sense of security. While parents and others focus on “Stranger Danger” the vast majority of sex crimes against children are commited by relatives and friends of the family.

  26. Somebody_On_The_Net says:

    The sex offender lists only purpose is to put targets on the backs of people after they have served their time. They do not protect anybody. Thieves do not get pout on a list. Murderers do not have to inform their neighbors. Drunk drivers do not get excluded from bars. Bank robbers do not get excluded from banks. The only logical purpose of these restrictions on sex offenders is to get the offenders killed or sent back to jail by making it impossible for them to function in society. Why do they have to notify the community when other criminals do not? So people can kill them. Otherwise the campaign for “public safety” would be to keep them in jail for life because they are so dangerous. But nobody wants that. So logically public safety must not the the real goal.

  27. honest_american says:

    Well IF they are still on parole then technically they have not served their time fully correct?
    AND i believe that convicted inmates loose or have certain right suspended?

    It may just me misremember .. in fact now ill be looking it up again .. but its that’s the case id rather them starve on the streets wearing monitoring than use my tax dollars to live all comfortable in jail…. and yes jail is pretty damn comfortable compared to pretty much ANYWHERE else in the world you are incarcerated… (no to mention how it used to be here as well).

    Stick em back in a small cell with no tv .. a simple bunk and let them earn the a small amount of cash that’s used to pay for the food they have. and NOTHING else.

  28. Regulas says:

    What do you have to do to get a lifelong conviction of a “Sex Offender” Pretty soon domestic violence, pepping tom conviction may get you the label, it is a scary thought. If they can label you for life for one offense they can do it for all.
    I don’t condone bad behavior or crimes but a Police State is what we have become, 1984 is slowly becoming a reality.

  29. Aunt Bee says:

    The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
    ~ George Washington


  30. MICHAELP says:


  31. Paul Begala says:

    wow…the comments on here are amazing. What a collosal collection of ignorance. Are you all too stupid to ask the question: “Why are these people allowed to walk around unshackled?”

    1. bob says:

      Yea, we are pretty stupid. I think that “smart people”, like you, should front the cash to cover the $50k to $65k a year to keep these people in prison. Yep, take that money right out of YOUR paycheck! YOU need to protect the public from people who have commuted such viscous crimes as teen lovers, public urinators, naked runners, digital picture viewers, sexting perpetrators, email senders, peeping toms, etc. You are the patriot, now pay-up.

  32. Brandon says:

    May he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  33. Rebecca says:

    None of this sounds new. We’ve had GPS bracelets, including exclusion zones, on sex offenders (and others) for some time now.

  34. Oompa Loompa says:

    Bare in mind, the majority of sex offenders have never been caught!

  35. ElinAnn says:

    They are getting this idea normalized. See Gangstalking to really see the future. They are teaching average and very below average people to hunt and track innocent people who have been put on some list for any reason at all from some strangers tip to authorities. This is going on in all countries. They are tracked, hunted and killed, leaving no trace. The perfect crime. Most times they are accused of being a sexual predator and mentally ill. And then everyone is contacted and told these lies. I leads to prison, a psych ward or forced suicide. Many of the rampage killers were targets of what they call workplace bullying, but this is the community version.

  36. silkee says:

    Here’s a common factual scenerio as to who your child molesting sex offender is: Johnny was an immature 20 year old who had sex with Fast Susie who was 14 years old. Because Susie’s mommy can’t control Susie, she filed a complaint when she learned of the illicit relationship, believing this will control Susie. Instead, Johnny becomes a registered sex offender. Later, when Johnny is 28, he can’t even live with his own wife and own child, because he’s a sex offender who is not allowed to be with children, unsupervised.

  37. Henry Thoreau says:

    There’s no easy solution except to imprison or flat out kill them. Unless you’re a sicko that likes tracking child rape via GPS, I don’t really see the point. You aren’t solving any problems. You aren’t protecting anyone. You are a moron.

  38. Rick Daniels says:

    Preferably, both.

  39. Karen says:

    Our children must be safe no matter where they are. We must do whatever it takes to prevent these twisted predators from having access to their desired victims.

    1. Sail says:

      Karen, I like bob’s solution. We just create breeding areas. The male is allowed in a breeding area twice a week and is allowed to mate with any (of legal age) female. Once the breeding is done, the male must leave (the female can stay) Once the female has produced offspring, that offspring is not allowed within 1500 feet of a breeding area. It alleviates any chance of male/child contact. Here are bob’s thoughts:

      Something like 90% of sex crimes against children are done a family member or someone that is close to the the family. I say that once a child is born, father, brothers, uncles, etc should wear these GPSs and not be allowed within 1500′ of all children. That would fix it.,

  40. Pete Moss says:

    1) Sex offenders have no higher chance of reoffending than any ohter group of criminals. 2) 96% of all child molestors is not the stranger down the block, not the sex offender livng down the block, but the father, brother, grandfather or uncle of the victim. When you punish the sex offender in these cases, you are also punishing the vicitm.

  41. Pete Moss says:

    This makes it a lot more likely for sex offenders to commit murder or go on some life-ending crime spree, because we are making it impossible for them to live any kind of life. They may have caused those they hurt to suffer for a lifetime, but they are also human beings. We may call them animals, subhuman,monsters but is just our rationalization to treat our enemies like like something other than human beings.

  42. Todd says:

    The majority of children who are molested are molested by people they already know, i.e. relatives, family friends, etc. not strangers. This is just another knee jerk feel good solution to “protect the children.”

  43. Jeff says:

    I gotta say some good conversation here. I do agree with most about the time served issue. Once you do your time that’s it. You shouldn’t be assumed to be up to no good and nothing SHOULD be done till another crime committed. With that said, I don’t necessarily disagree with it on parolees as the article clearly states. Parolees have NOT served their sentences an the issue is actually yes they DO Need monitoring. Some are pointing out that if you’re a danger you shouldnt be let out. Everyone knows you can behave in prison to get out early but that doesn’t mean you’ve really done what’s required to change.

  44. Ten Myths About Sex Offenders – Citizens for Legislative Change-Oklahoma http://t.co/k2Z1WWB

  45. RedEyedTreeFrog says:

    The innocence and trust we possess in childhood is a treasure limited to childhood and a precious memory when we are adults. Assaults on children robbing them of those treasures cannot be restored or replaced. A new legal system dealing with protecting children in in the works. It will overthrow all tracking systems, computer lists and management, ankle bracelets, and second offenses. People convicted of child molestation are titled pedophiles. Held in prison during following processes: Male and Female castration. During healing and for specific timeframe, are trained to read braille. Trained to function in a job as a blind person. Trained to live as blind person in studio apartment and use public transport to job. Trained in usual aspects of living alone, with support available for grocery shopping and meal preparation, and use of building laundry machines, and cleaning apartment. They pay taxes, self support, pay rent, insurances, etc. The person would have the fullest freedom of a sighted person but would not be able to use computers, pornographic or other films, pornographic magazines. We would protect our children and neighborhoods and society from convicted child molesters. This in itself would help deter future molesters and if not, when convicted they would enter into this system. Costs us less, is safer. Get your politicians to talk about it and admit they have been informed of this. Added will be the interrogation process applied only in missing child cases. Anyone brought in for questioning will first, with presence of their lawyer, be given lie detector test which is followed immediately by questioning with waterboarding technique. Done with the jewelry and technology for molesters. No more need for victims’ parents and friends to ride bikes across country to get attention to this problem, no more fear in neighborhoods from released molesters. We are fixing this problem.

  46. RedEyedTreeFrog says:

    oops, missed adding: that upon completion of castration healing and all training while restrained in prison, the molester is surgically blinded. That is justice. They destroyed a childhood, and thus their sight is destroyed… but, because psychiatrists, law enforcement, psychologist world-wide confirm that pedophiles cannot be healed, we treat this as the disease it is… and simply remove all chances for the disease to cause more harm… God told us that if the eye causes us to sin, pluck it out. Add it to the Commandments that teach us how to live.

  47. David R Youberg MD says:

    I would like to see some bonafide research done on whether or not castration change the behaviour of sexual preditors, and if so, what proportion of them are changed.
    since it has an affect on farm animals, I assume it would have a favorable affect on sexual preditors. I think we need that information. Offenders could be offered castration in place of long and expensive confinement, if it is actaually effective.
    David R. Youberg MD

    1. mike c, says:

      Castration is not the answer since it does not take away the very nature of the urge to commit the perverted action upon a child. Witness NAMBLA. just google it. we will never be able to get people to give up the compulsion of the urge to hurt each other whether planned or premeditated.

  48. Eros says:

    What this story doesn’t say if these are the worse offenders or all offenders. Beside sex offenders why don’t we have a program for drug dealers too. So mom and dad can say don’t go to Jen house her dad dealt/deals drug.

  49. Frank says:

    Urinate outside, get caught, get on sex offender list, life ruined. The only way to salvage your life at this point is to move out of the country.

    God Bless America.

  50. Dr Michael says:

    A sex offender is no different than any other criminal. These individuals need to be put away for life. There is no place in society for them. Yea Yea, the rhetoric, they made a mistake, they should be given another chance. NO NO NO. Whats wrong is wrong. Of course its easy to sit back and say it is not my place to judge unitl it hapens to someone in your family, then it is a different story.

  51. brandon smith says:

    Good news!I would like to comment on this idea which will help parents to protect their kids from any danger possibilities. This service is similar to the service that I got for my kids wherein I can easily track them with their current location but the best feature of the service is that they can ask for immediate helpin times of emergency with a press of a panic button which is installed in their mobile phones.So it is a nice idea that wherever our kids are, we can still have them protected. This is the protection I provide to my kids http://safekidzone.com/

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