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Board of Probation and Parole and Metro Nashville PD Target Gangs with GPS Pilot

Thursday, March 03, 2011 | 07:07am
Nashville, Tennessee --- The Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole and the Metro Nashville Police Department are collaborating on a pilot program to assess the impact global positioning system (GPS) monitoring may have on gang-related activity. Ten offenders with suspected gang associations have been placed on GPS for the pilot.
 
“Our goal is no more victims,” said Board Chairman Charles Traughber. “GPS is a tool that tells us where an offender is and tracks his or her movements. We’re sharing this technology with Metro Police to determine whether it can have an impact on gang activity in the area.”
 
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said, “This new initiative with Chairman Traughber and his staff sends yet another very clear message that our police department has no tolerance for criminal gangs and gang violence. From daily intelligence gathering by our Gang Unit, to our weekly Operation Safer Streets program, to our partnership with the U.S. Justice Department in the prosecution of violent gang members, we mean business.And our business is the safety of Nashville’s neighborhoods.”
 
GPS is a relatively new technology. BOPP has used it statewide since 2007 to strengthen supervision of sex offenders and other high-risk offenders. Metro officers taking part in the pilot have been trained to use the same software BOPP uses to monitor offenders on GPS, and will respond to any alerts involving offenders in the pilot program.
 
GPS monitoring relies on tracking devices and ankle bracelet transmitters worn by offenders. Tracking data is processed through a web-based application. If alerts are received, they are processed, and officers are notified when further action is needed. Alerts might include signals that indicate tampering with devices, offender presence in a forbidden area or failure to be at a specific location at a scheduled time (curfew, attending treatment, reporting for employment, etc.). Alerts are also triggered if units are not recharged on time, or if the unit is not being carried properly.
 
This is the second project that BOPP and Metro Police have worked on together. State probation and parole officers are stationed in several Metro Police precincts. Both agencies say the joint effort has strengthened their working relationship and has made it easier to serve warrants.
 
The Board of Probation and Parole ( www.tn.gov/bopp/ ) is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board is charged with the responsibility of deciding which eligible felony offenders will be granted parole and released from incarceration to community-based supervsiion. Along with the supervision of those granted parole, the Board is also responsible for supervising felony offenders who are placed on probation by criminal courts.
 
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