July 23, 2010

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Their Funding Request For Monroe County Department Of Public Safety – Department Set To Receive $300,000 For Sex Offender Monitoring Systems

Funding Would Update Sex Offender Monitoring Systems, Utilizing GPS Technology to Keep Communities Safer

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee has approved the FY2011 Appropriations Bill which includes $300,000 for the Monroe County Department of Public Safety. The funding will help law enforcement officials monitor high risk sex offenders through the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The updated protections will allow law enforcement to alert probation officers immediately whenever the sex offender enters an exclusion zone, does not return home when required or tampers with the monitoring device. Schumer and Gillibrand worked closely with members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year's spending bill.

“Keeping close watch on high-level sex offenders is an important way to keep our communities and our families safe, and this funding will help Rochester obtaining the cutting edge technology to do just that,” Schumer said. “I will fight to see this funding through the full appropriations process.”

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and families,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment for our community will help give local law enforcement the tools they need to keep families in Rochester safe from dangerous offenders.”

Monroe County has a growing sex offender problem. Of the 322 sex offenders currently released in Monroe, 100 are deemed ‘high risk. This funding will allow law enforcement to effectively monitor their location and initiate immediate responses if the offender violates the location conditions of his/her parole. Because probation officers with extremely high caseloads cannot possibly monitor and offender 24/7, this program will provide an additional level of security for Monroe County citizens by utilizing monitoring devices equipped with GPS technology.

Global Position System technology provides an opportunity to electronically monitor the offender’s precise whereabouts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using this technology, probation officers and a monitoring center can keep track of  the offender’s every movement, and the system can generate an alert whenever the offender breaks a condition of their probation. On-duty or on-call Probation Officers would respond immediately to any alert, making arrests as needed.

This program blends state-of-the-art technology with effective personal intervention to provide Monroe County with the best possible protection against acts of violence by known sex offenders in order to enhance the quality of life in Monroe County.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.