Home monitoring system boosts victim and community safety

wireless tracking device not only aids law enforcement agencies monitoring offenders on house arrest or probation, it also provides a victim safety measure.

This Internet-based, SSL tracking tool allows agencies to set the amount of access each employee has to offender records. Three roles are available out of the box: county administrator, supervisor and probation officers. But administrators can adjust this as they see fit — Omnilink provides them with templates to do so. The system works with ESRI's mapping applications as well as Google Maps and Microsoft mapping engines. It can be configured to the agency's preferred mapping software.

Butler says he appreciates that the system is a Web-based application. "Officers have laptops in their cars so they can watch the person on-screen and follow them around town," he explains. This tracking ability has even enabled the Las Vegas PD to recover devices offenders toss into Dumpsters. "Officers have caught up to the garbage truck and stopped it. They've even followed it all the way to the landfill," he says.

Federal law dictates offenders are able to remove battery-powered tracking systems in an emergency, meaning offenders can take off the device to avoid detection. To counteract this, Omnilink configures its system to detect when offenders tamper with the bracelet. "If offenders tinker with it by cutting it or tweaking it in any way, an officer is notified automatically," Aninye explains. "There are multiple levels of tamper protection built in."

Tampering is reduced when compared to other devices on the market, Butler adds. The system's 2.5-inch band is thicker than previous systems and waterproof, making it very stable; previous systems had bands that could be stretched and slipped off rather easily. "We get immediate alerts if there is any kind of tamper," he says. "If they start pulling on it a little bit, we're alerted before anything breaks. There really isn't much they can do to tamper with them that won't cause an alarm."

The only problem Butler recalls has been with the system's charger, which was very delicate in the past. "The company recently altered the charger design and changed manufacturers to satisfactorily address the problem. "Everything we have issues with, Omnilink works very hard to fix," he says. "Their responsiveness is the biggest thing."

This technology allows monitoring officers to focus on managing offenders as opposed to managing technology. The Omnilink system brings an unprecedented level of control, allowing agencies to enforce offender accountability and compliance, and boost public safety not only for their victims but for the community as a whole.

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