Sex offender parolee with Corrections Department issued GPS tracking device on his ankle (Photo courtesy of AP Graphics)
ORLANDO, Fla. - Judge Belvin Perry has suspended the GPS monitoring system in Orange County.
On Friday, Perry made public his ruling after a thorough review found a number of system failures.
Perry said a lack of procedures in how to respond to GPS violation alerts, a lack of personnel to oversee the suspects with monitors, a lack of oversight by a law enforcement agency and a lack of official response led to his ruling.
A review of the program was ordered after several problems. Perry recently called for a temporary suspension of the program.
Tony Johnson's brother was shot in Apopka on Easter Sunday. Investigators said the suspected shooter, Wilfred Gregory, ran away and cut off his GPS bracelet.
"(Perry) did the right thing to cut if off completely," said Johnson. "If the GPS people were doing their job, it wouldn't have went this far."
Officials weren't notified that the GPS bracelet had been cut until six and a half hours later, which police said hindered their investigation.
"This could have been avoided. Think about all the little kids that were there. It could have been sad for somebody else," said Johnson.
Perry said the county must make major changes before the pre-trial GPS program is recreated.
The changes include creating an executive branch to oversee and supervise the GPS program 24/7, get more law enforcement involvement, which would require legislation changes to arrest individuals on pre-trial GPS who remove the device or break curfew and formulate new policies and procedures for the way pre-trial GPS monitoring is handled.
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