Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CDCR, Local Law Enforcement Agencies Arrest 17 Sex Offenders at California Fairs

GPS Exclusion Zones Placed Around 17 Fairs to Enhance Public Safety

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that 17 sex offenders on Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring were arrested for being on the grounds of the State or county fairs. Statewide, more than 100 CDCR parole agents worked with local police agencies checking for sex offenders at 17 different fairgrounds. Additional agents provided monitoring from remote locations using GPS location technology.

“With the use of GPS technology and patrols by CDCR parole agents, a significant contribution to public safety was achieved by keeping sex offender parolees away from the state and county fairs,” said Robert Ambroselli, Director, CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO). “The 2010 results show that we are keeping sex offenders out of these public events and away from families.”

For a second year in a row, parole agents using GPS technology created exclusion zones around fairgrounds to alert agents of any parolee sex offender entering the zones. Agents monitored location data remotely and on-site using laptop computers. Other agents, working in tandem with local law enforcement agencies, patrolled fairgrounds. Prior to the events, parolee sex offenders were instructed by their parole agents not to enter the exclusion zones.

During the operation, which lasted from June 23 through Oct. 3, parole agents and local law enforcement made the following arrests: one at the California State Fair; three at the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico; one at the Kern County Fair; one at the Ventura County Fair; one at the Santa Clara County Fair; six at the Orange County Fair; and four at the Los Angeles County Fair. Five parolees not on GPS monitoring and not sex offenders were arrested — three at the California State Fair and two at the Silver Dollar Fair. Parole agents also monitored the movements of gang members using GPS tracking; however, there were no reported incidents or arrests involving gang members at the fairs.

In 2009, 35 sex offenders were arrested in similar operations at eight fairs, including five at the California State Fair and 14 at the Los Angeles County Fair.

“The decline in arrests in 2010 may indicate sex offenders are getting the message to stay away from public events with children,” Ambroselli noted.

CDCR has been utilizing GPS technology since June 2005 to enhance public safety.

GPS monitoring is used as a tool to assist parole agents and local law enforcement with the supervision of high-risk parolees and sex offenders.

California is the nation’s leader in using GPS technology to monitor parolee movement with 6,579 sex offenders and 932 high-risk gang offenders being tracked as of Nov. 9.

Since December 31, 2008, the DAPO has placed all parolees who are required by law to register under terms of Penal Code 290 on GPS monitoring. The system is used to monitor parole compliance at events such as fairs, conventions and other locations where adults and children congregate.

For the past two years, any sex offender parolee on GPS monitoring who entered a fair with an “exclusion zone” set off an alert notifying agents. Once the notification was received, on-site agents would track offender movements to determine if any parole condition specific to that parolee was being violated, and arrest the individual as necessary.

“It’s important for sex offenders on parole to understand that we are intent on keeping close supervision on their movements in the interest of protecting public safety,” added Ambroselli. “It would be in their best interest to stay away from events where families with children congregate.”

Video: California State Fair GPS 2010

Video: GPS Monitoring:

CDCR Sex Offender Information:

CDCR DAPO Electronic Monitoring (GPS):

How GPS Works:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Terry Thornton or Paul Verke
(916) 445-4950