New GPS Tracking Law for Violators of Restraining Orders

16 Apr 2012

Restraining orders now have more power, thanks to a new GPS tracking bill signed into law by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker last week.

The new law will enable state Department of Corrections to utilize a GPS tracking device on domestic abuse restraining order violators. A judge on each case can make the decision to order the GPS monitoring.

And, if the offender violates the restrainer order — as verified by the GPS tracker device — the violator may be subject to a $200 fine and/or nine months in jail.

The GPS tracking device will notify law enforcement when a violator enters a restricted area as specified by the restraining order. When a violator crosses into a restricted area, law enforcement can see the offender’s exact location via GPS coordinates.

In addition to notifying police when an offender crossing restraining order boundaries, the new GPS tracking law aids victims of abuse by letting them know they are in danger.

Most restraining orders include a specific set of perimeters around which the victim of abuse frequents, such as home and work. These areas are typically off limit to the victim’s offender. However, restraining orders — without GPS tracking — are difficult to enforce. Furthermore, without GPS monitoring, victims of abuse may not even know that a restraining order is violated until the offender is within their sight. Unfortunately, sometimes at that point, it’s too late. By the time the victim makes a phone call for assistance, the attacker is already in their presence to harm, abuse, or even kill them.

The new GPS law for restraining order violators is just one of seven bills signed by the Wisconsin governor last week. All seven bills are geared toward increasing the safety of victims of abuse and crime, while also holding offenders accountable.

GPS tracking is becoming an increasingly important tool in fighting crime for law enforcement.

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