The state is going high-tech in an effort to protect residents from predators. Governor Blunt says the state has been testing the uses of global positioning satellite technology to keep a watchful eye on offenders released from prison, but still on probation or parole. He says the GPS tracking system alerts law enforcement when an offender approacheds any restricted area such as park, school or playground.
The state is currently running a pilot of the GPS tracking system on about 30 offenders in 23 different counties. The offenders are required to wear a transmitter around the ankle and have a miniature tracking device. The equipment uses internet and cell phone technology to determine real time information on offenders’ movements. Blunt is recommending the state to approve nearly $500,000 to fund the pilot program, with $225,000 meant for next fiscal year. The Governor says the GPS system targets sex offenders, but could potentially be used for any offender on probation or parole. Missouri is one of a handful of states testing the use of GPS technology for tracking offenders.