Orange County, FL: GPS Devices Used In Certain Civil Cases

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Certain domestic violence criminals in Orange County could find themselves equipped with a GPS tracking device affixed to their ankle very soon.

 

Judge Belvin Perry thought of the idea, telling a reporter at Florida’s WDBO that the GPS devices should even be mandated for some of those who have not been arrested at all. Perry said that the Orlando area is number one in the state for domestic violence, and wants to step up enforcement to change things.

 

Roughly 5,000 injunction petitions are filed every year in Orange County.

 

In February, on Valentine’s Day to be precise, select defendants who have injunctions against them will receive a GPS tracking device to be worn around their ankle. When an offender enters within a certain proximity of the victim, an alarm will sound.

 

Katherine Moore, a domestic violence victim, is thankful the program has been implemented. “He said that if he could not have me than no one could have me,” Moore said of a threatening text sent to her by her husband, Tony Moore. She broke down in tears in court, telling the judge she fears for her safety when her husband is released from jail.

 

As if to reassure her, Orange County Circuit Court Judge Robert Evans said, “I will order GPS tracking.”

 

As soon as Tony Moore is released, the GPS tracking device he is forced to wear will keep tabs on his GPS location. His wife will wear a similar device, so that when he gets too close to her GPS location, an alert is sent to warn her, and 911 is contacted so that authorities can deal with her husband.

 

Katherine Moore’s attorney Randy McClean said, “It won’t stop a bullet, it won’t stop a knife, but it does alert law enforcement and it does add an extra layer of protection for the domestic violence victim.”

 

This is a pilot program funded by a $316,000 grant. The future of the program is uncertain. Lawmakers will visit the issue in June, when the grant is due to run out.

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Khristen Foss

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