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.”

  • http://topsy.com/pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/01/10/pilot-program-uses-gps-technology-to-track-sex-offenders/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Pilot Program Uses GPS Technology To Track Sex Offenders « CBS Pittsburgh – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Pittsburgh -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Drudge Report and others. Drudge Report said: Pilot Program Uses GPS Technology To Track Sex Offenders… http://drudge.tw/eDhCPE […]

  • RRB

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

  • Hank Warren

    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):

    • John C

      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.

      • bob

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

      • Cale Rader

        would be better as a collar

      • Chad

        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.

    • Gordon

      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

      • Gordon

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

  • Kevin

    “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….

    • Gregory Casamento

      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.


  • http://www.bohemianmonk.com/2011/01/pilot-program-to-track-sex-offenders-with-gps/ Pilot Program to Track Sex Offenders With GPS | The Monks House

    […] Program to Track Sex Offenders With GPS January 11, 2011 By KaineJack Via CBS Pittsburgh, “PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than 1,100 registered sex offenders live and work in Allegheny […]

  • sigh really

    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.

  • chuck

    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.

    • John

      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.

      • bob

        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.

      • Bill S

        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.

  • Craven Sanity

    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!”

    • bob

      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.,

  • August

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

    • KingTesticusGuile

      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!

  • Doug

    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.

  • sail

    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

    • Michael

      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.”


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

  • am

    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.

  • clarese76

    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.

    • Carl

      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.

  • Ree Al


    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.

  • sail

    ‘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

  • http://scaredmonkeys.com/2011/01/11/sex-offender-to-be-tracked-by-gps-in-pilot-program-hang-garmins-or-tom-toms-on-all-of-em/ Sex Offender to be Tracked by GPS in Pilot Program … Hang Garmin’s or Tom Tom’s on All of ‘Em | Scared Monkeys

    […] than 1100 registered sex offenders in Allegheny County, PA and 43 of them are now wearing GPS monitoring devices as part of a pilot program to monitor them as a condition of their parole. 43!!! So there are over […]

  • http://www.bilco.org/2011/01/11/pilot-program-uses-gps-technology-to-track-sex-offenders/ Pilot Program Uses GPS Technology To Track Sex Offenders… : Bilco's Domain

    […] (First column, 9th story, link) […]

  • Irish67

    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.

  • No forethought?

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

  • Eric

    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.

  • William Keeley

    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.

  • pjd

    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.

  • pjd

    Correction to pjd: Those whose hearts….

  • Wake Up

    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!!

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