GPS ankle bracelet designed for real-time sex offender tracking - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

GPS ankle bracelet designed for real-time sex offender tracking

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DEL MAR, Calif. (CBS 8) - The murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, allegedly by a registered sex offender, has generated calls for tougher laws dealing with convicted criminals.

One change being discussed is real-time GPS monitoring for sex offenders. A company called GPS Monitoring Solutions says it's come up with a device.

It's called the Tracker Pal, and if a sexual offender wearing this GPS device goes near a park, school, or any restricted area, an alarm will sound.

Petra Fuhriman with GPS Monitoring Solutions says her product comes equipped with straps that are custom fit.

On Wednesday, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher asked the corrections department about a discrepancy that prohibits a sexual offender on parole from living near a park, yet nothing stops that predator from hanging out in the same park every day.

Crime victim advocate Bonnie Russell attended that meeting.

"My definition of monitoring would be 24/7. Apparently the state has a substandard definition of monitoring," Russell said.

News 8 took the Tracker Pal for a walk, and as we moved away from a local park, blue dots on a GPS tracking screen showed us moving away from children.

Under the current system, parole officers in the state of California are checking up on sexual offenders once a day, but using the Tracker Pal system, there is a service center in Utah that would follow their movements every five minutes.

With the Tracker Pal, if a sex offender wearing their GPS device gets too close to a restricted area, an alarm sounds.

"A siren can go off on the alarm, alerting everyone around the offender," Fuhriman said.

News 8 tested the device, and not only did the alarm go off, but the service center calls us directly and will notify a parole officer about the violation.

The corrections department spends about $20 a day tracking parolees. GPS Monitoring Solutions says it can do a much better job for $12 a day.

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