In the wake of recent tragedy, one Virginia legislator is looking to GPS tracking technology for a solution. According to reports out of Martinsville, Virginia, Del. Ward Armstrong is going to be proposing a bill to the Legislature that will bring real time GPS tracking for certain types of criminals.
Here is the report from the Martinsville Bulletin:
He also will introduce a bill so that a person who violated a protective order could be required by court order to wear a GPS tracking device. That way, the person who took out the protective order or police would be aware when the person who violated the order was nearby, Armstrong said.
This is an interesting move and could be fraught with privacy concerns – let alone overcoming the logistic and financial hurdles that the technology’s limitations will impose upon law enforcement officials.
The key to the privacy concerns would be giving the criminals location to the person who took out the protective order against the criminal. What right do they have to know the position of any person? Also, would they need to have a GPS installed on themselves as well to let them know when the criminal is near them? This would increase the effectiveness of the system but would double the costs associated with the use of the tracking system.
Then there is the issue of battery life – a know limitation of real time GPS tracking systems. How would the police ensure that the device is well charged? Many small, real time tracking devices have an estimated battery life of a few days of dormant tracking, and only a few hours of active tracking. This means that the criminals would need to be recharging their batteries every few days. Will a parole officer oversee this? This is will cost money – more money than is currently being spent on this type of criminal.
It GPS tracking the answer for this issue? The State of Virginia is going to decide if this legislation makes it to the floor.