GPS System Notifies Police before a Stalker Attacks

Dennis Faas's picture

Police stations in Massachusetts have turned to modern technology to crack down on known stalkers. Those convicted as dangerous individuals are now being attached to satellite monitoring devices that electronically notify the authorities when a stalker is too close to their victim. The messages are sent automatically, meaning that the police could potentially stop an attack before the opportunity presents itself. (Source:

For many people, it's their worst nightmare come to life: knowing the name, face (and sometimes) location of someone hoping to cause you physical harm. Realizing that this person could be lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce at any time is enough to make someone alter their entire lifestyle.

While being stalked can happen to anyone, the situation is most common after a marital relationship has turned abusive. Although the victim knows their stalker, seeking police intervention (and subsequently leaving their abuser) means that the next time the couple comes face-to-face, anything can happen.

Massachusetts' law enforcement is using GPS-equipped cell phones to make stalkers less dangerous. The phones update monitor a stalker by the minute, and transmits data to three central tracking centers.

An accompanying ankle bracelet is wirelessly connected to the phone. If the stalker moves into a restricted area or if the bracelet is cut, authorities are immediately notified. The device also sends out a warning if the phone is left a few feet away from the stalker or if the batteries on either device are low.

Massachusetts courts have been ordering sex offenders to wear GPS devices since 2005. The courts expanded their system to include dangerous abusers in 2006. (Source:

Initiated in Newburyport, an area northeast of Boston with a track record for dangerous offenders, the GPS devices have proved flawless. As it stands, eight abusers have been subjected to GPS monitoring and not one has had a single incident.

The success of GPS monitoring has caused other states to take notice. Illinois recently passed legislation to adopt the system and a host of other states are expected to follow in the months to come.

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