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News

Early Release Offender Tracking System

Portman Security : 18 August, 2010  (New Product)
The Virtual Guardian from Portman Security comprises tamper-proof RF tag and GPS location device for use in tracking and monitoring prisoners who have been released early into the community
Portman Security Systems USA announces its "Virtual Guardian" system as an effective way of monitoring early release and restricted offenders. The system has now been approved as a preferred device for use in 17 countries.

"The system is comprised of three components: a WH200 RF tag for the wrist or ankle, a hand-held GT2000NP-RF GPS device, and a charging base," explains Ed Nevins, Portman Security Systems Director. "The phone-sized personal tracker senses the presence of the RF tag device, which is put on by the court and can't be removed. If the tag moves more than two meters away from the GPS device, an automatic alert is triggered." Attempting to tamper with or remove the RF tag also triggers an alert. Placing the tracker on its charging base expands the range of the tag to 100 meters, so the offender can move about their home with relative ease - a feature designed specifically for home detention scenarios pending trial.

The highly accurate GPS tracker can also operate as a cell phone, placing calls to preset numbers, such as parole officers. Authorities can also "listen in" on the device with a monitoring feature - and in situations with poor cell phone coverage, the device can store thousands of time-stamped event reports, which it then forwards when a GPS signal is reacquired, preventing any gaps in reporting.

"There are a number of scenarios that we envision using this system," Mr Nevins added. "It was designed for use with parolees and house arrest - those who need to be monitored but present a low risk to society at large - as a low-cost alternative to jailing them and paying for their upkeep. But the system can also be configured for 'personal criminal' cases, such as stalking, domestic assault, or repeated restraining order violations," Mr. Nevins continued. In that scenario, the offender wears the RF tag and the victim carries the GPS device. Authorities are alerted whenever the tag appears within proximity of the device, creating an automatic record of the time and place of each violation. The handset can also be used as a panic button to call authorities to the victim's exact location.

"We're also looking into domestic applications aiding the elderly and the impaired," Mr. Nevins continued. The system could be a real boon to those monitoring the autistic, or suffering from Alzheimer's. "Having an immediate notification when someone wanders away from their supervision is invaluable. Portman is very pleased to bring this system to the worldwide market."
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