San Bernardino - Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced an innovative partnership with the City of San Bernardino to use a statewide Global Positioning System (GPS) pilot program to track the movements of known gang members in the community.
San Bernardino will be the first local law enforcement agency in the state to use this innovative program to track gang members under parole supervision while accessing CDCR data and working with parole agents.
"The most important mission of CDCR is to promote and enhance public safety. We are proud that by means of this GPS program, we can assist jurisdictions like San Bernardino in their efforts to protect their communities from violence," said CDCR Acting Secretary Jeanne S. Woodford.
The CDCR has developed a specialized gang parole caseload that is using GPS technology to supervise up to twenty gang member parolees who are deemed as a public safety risk to the community of San Bernardino. This will be the first local law enforcement agency in the state to use this technology and to work directly with parole agents to track gang members.
Since January 1, 2005, the City of San Bernardino has experienced 55 homicides. Almost half of those homicides were directly related to gang activity. "We are putting gangs on notice. San Bernardino and the state of California are joining forces to leverage new technologies to prevent gang crimes and protect our city's neighborhoods," stated San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. "Reducing gang activities will come from partnering with others in law enforcement, using the latest technology, and addressing the root causes of crime and violence."
GPS uses satellite technology to track each parolee's location and movement in real time 24 hours a day. In July 2005, CDCR began its test pilot program to use GPS technology to monitor sex offenders on parole. So far, 262 units have been deployed with promising results. The use of GPS units on gang member parolees is a new application of the technology.
"This is an exciting new application of GPS technology," said Jim L'Etoile, CDCR Director of Adult Parole Operations, "We believe this will be a highly cost effective tool to ensure better community safety by enhancing our supervision of offenders on parole."
CDCR will partner with local law enforcement agencies to assist in reducing the recent violent crime attributed to gang activity by establishing a specialized parole supervision caseload in the City of San Bernardino. The CDCR parole agent assigned to the GPS caseload will work closely with the San Bernardino County Joint Law Enforcement Gang Impact Team to identify parole violations and criminal activity.
On March 8, CDCR began placing those parolee gang members in San Bernardino deemed as a public safety risk to the community on GPS supervision. As more are identified, a total of 20 offenders will be monitored under this partnership. The pilot program with will be last for one year and the results monitored by the University of Irvine who we have been contracted to do an independent evaluation of the GPS pilot programs.
In addition to utilizing GPS as a supervision tool on identified gang members, the CDCR also is using GPS technology to supervise 20 High-Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) who live in and near the City of San Bernardino.
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