On the eve of Mother’s Day weekend, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray announced plans to launch a pilot program that would dramatically increase the use of GPS tracking devices to monitor people with orders of protection against them in domestic violence cases. Once fully operational, offenders would be identified and monitored on GPS beginning as early as arraignment.
County Executive Mangano stated, “Supervisor Murray approached my administration with suggestions for the creation of a pilot program to enhance the level of protection for people who have been the innocent victims of violence. Together, we will make domestic violence victims safer and hold domestic violence offenders more accountable through the GPS monitoring of select abusers with stay-away orders of protection.”
The program, similar to one recently proposed in Suffolk, would be implemented through the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), in conjunction with the Probation Department and local courts. The pilot project would include the use of monitoring devices attached to the ankles of certain persons who are the subject of orders of protection in domestic violence cases. Moving forward, with the availability of emerging technology, victims would be provided with a device that would alert them when those who are the subject of an order of protection are in close proximity.
“As we enter Mother’s Day weekend, I can think of few better gifts than the ‘peace of mind’ that domestic violence victims will have as a result of this program,” stated Supervisor Murray. “I want to thank County Executive Ed Mangano for spearheading this effort. As a former advocate for battered women, I can tell you that the fear that victims endure over the prospect of their abusers returning to attack them again is unimaginable and heartbreaking.”
The Nassau County Department of Probation currently monitors (delete certain) sex offenders via GPS. Since 2014, sex offenders violating GPS location restrictions or tampering with the GPS equipment, just like drivers drinking while operating vehicles with ignition interlocks, trigger an automated notification to NCPD Communications via the 911 system, dispatching police to investigate and, where they find evidence of a crime, make an arrest. This protocol will serve as a model for the domestic violence initiative.
In the coming days, the County Executive will form a committee of stakeholders from the Department of Probation, NCPD, Office of the District Attorney, Office of Court Administration, Family Violence Task Force, and victim advocates to identify and resolve technical, programmatic and policy issues and determine whether a local law could mandate the conditions of release and determine if State legislation is necessary.