Correctional News is reporting an increase in the number of paroled SC offenders tracked via GPS. Numbers are up from 400 tracked offenders in 2011 to 600 tracked offenders in 2013, all of whom must pay a weekly $40 fee for tracking. The report states that most of South Carolina’s tracked parolees are sex offenders, citing the state’s passing of Jessica’s Law in 2006 which mandates GPS tracking of specified sex offenders based on their crimes against minors. The state employs 160 individuals to monitor the tracking devices via GPS tracking software, respond to violations, and make home visits if necessary.
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TrackingTheWorld’s all-weather EnduroPro GPS tracker offers an ideal choice for extreme weather conditions, from recent summer heat waves to below zero temperatures. Designed to provide accurate and reliable reporting in the most extreme conditions ranging from -40° to 185° Fahrenheit, the EnduroPro is also water-resistant to IPX-5 standards.
The Enduro Pro offers features not typically found on GPS tracking systems in the same price range and of comparable size. Gilbert Walz, CEO of TrackingTheWorld, said the tracker is also known for its versatility. “The EnduroPro tracker is used for a number of applications, including asset tracking, covert tracking, and personal protection.”
Time to first fix for the Enduro Pro is 29-seconds from a cold start, and less than one second from a hot start. The tracker includes a built-in motion sensor to extend battery life, which powers down the tracker when it is not in motion, resulting in one of the longest battery lives available for trackers of similar size. The device is equipped to operate for up to 16-days on a single charge based on five minute reporting intervals and one hour of reporting per day.
An ultra-compact tracker, the EnduroPro weighs 60-grams, and measures 67.5mm x 40mm x 21mm. Additional technical specifications include Quad-Band 850/900/1800/190MHz operation, GSM phase 2/2+ compliance, a 1300mAh, 3.7V Li-polymer backup battery, 50-channel all-in-view tracking, and a uBlox 6 GPS receiver. Designed for use with TrackingTheWorld’s GPS tracking software, the Enduro Pro provides fixed-time reporting, geo-fencing, emergency alerts, and customized reporting options.
Interface options include a mini-USB port for PC connection, an LED indicator for power, GSM, and GPS statuses, power and function buttons, and an MMCX RF connector for utilization of an external GPS antenna.
Here’s another bit of GPS tracking news…after police suspected a pair of Michigan men of breaking into homes and stealing valuables, they obtained a search warrant to place a covert tracking device on the suspect vehicle. Some time later, the vehicle was determined to have been at another home which had also been burglarized. Utilizing the vehicle tracking device and GPS tracking software, authorities were able to apprehend the suspects (after one fled), who later confessed to a string of burglaries. Both men have since been sentenced to prison.
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The University of Kentucky recently was awarded a USDA grant totaling more than $100-thousand to use GPS trackers to study the patterns of adolescents and their parents when it comes to when, where, and how they buy food, and how their surrounding environment influences those choices. Known as the “Adolescent and Parent Food Activity Patterns as Drivers of Food Choice and Behaviors” project, officials hope to use the GPS tracking data to gain insight into buying habits and diet choices.
Scientists may soon be using GPS tracking technology to monitor and track hurricanes, according to a recent report published in Radio Journal. By utilizing a GPS tracking receiver in hurricane hunter aircrafts to measure disruptions in the sea and then comparing the data to that which is received from GPS tracking satellites, scientists can determine the strength of a storm, including wind speeds accurate within 11 mph. Using GPS tracking systems to track hurricanes may also be more cost effective than dropsondes, tubes containing scientific measuring devices dropped from planes directly into hurricanes, which cost more than $700 dollars each. However, GPS tracking for hurricanes is only effective for hurricanes at sea, not those which have already made landfall, and is somewhat less accurate than current methods.
Teachers in one Texas school district will soon be receiving GPS tracking necklaces in an initiative aimed at improving school safety, according Dallas Observer blog. According to the report, Carroll ISD teachers will receive GPS tracking devices equipped with panic buttons allowing them to more quickly summon help in the event of an emergency. The district ordered 100 of the GPS trackers which are programmed to alert help with the location and a photo of the wearer when the emergency feature is activated.
India just launched one of seven satellites as part of its IRNSS positioning system which is due to be completed in 2016. While U.S. initiated GPS tracking satellites cover India, the new system will provide more options to those within 1,500 miles of the mainland of India. The system is designed to be accurate within 20 meters or less.
This is a quick update to our previous post detailing the New York court decision to allow limited, but warrantless GPS tracking of government employees. In a dissenting opinion, the controversial decision has been called a “dangerous precedent”. The decision was made as a result of Cunningham vs. the New York Department of Labor, where a government employee was tracked on his off time for the purpose of investigation whether or not he was honestly reporting his time spent on the job. Government actions (employee GPS tracking) in this case were deemed unreasonable by the court.
Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that New York’s top court has decided in favor of limited GPS tracking government employees. But the decision to allow some use of tracking devices, related to a 2008 misconduct case against a Labor Department official, didn’t come without clarification of what the court considers to be overstepping employee privacy. Drawing a fine line between acceptable and excessive, the court ruled that while the government can utilize vehicle tracking during hours they claim to be working, after hours and vacation time are off limits. With the court citing that employees have a “reasonable expectation” of privacy, and that government employers should exhaust other options before resorting to GPS tracking, the decision is considered significant in it’s challenge to the government’s previous stance that around-the-clock GPS tracking was acceptable. Tell us what you think about this decision!
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