Judge Perry on GPS monitoring to protect domestic violence victims
By Keith Landry, Reporter -
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Central Florida has more domestic violence cases than Miami, and we've seen a rash of brutal killings of women recently. One solution is protecting women by slapping a tracker on potential threats.
Circuit Judge Belvin Perry tells FOX 35 he is tired of seeing women get killed after getting court orders for abusers to stay away. Perry says this new program is the first of its kind in Florida. It uses GPS monitoring to protect domestic violence victims in Orange and Osceola Counties.
Judge Perry says, "It keeps these victims from being sitting ducks."
This new program puts GPS monitors on dangerous individuals in order to protect domestic violence victims. "It gives them an opportunity to be forewarned so they can seek a safe haven."
The court sets up a twenty-five hundred foot buffer zone around the home of the person with a court injunction. There is a five-hundred foot exclusion zone. If the person wearing the ankle monitor goes into the buffer zone, they get a phone call. If they enter the exclusion zone, police call the would-be victim and respond to the scene.
Critics say it is wrong to put GPS monitors on individuals in civil cases where they have not been convicted of abuse. Judge Perry has a question for critics. "What should we do? Do nothing and let the carnage continue?"
In each case, the judge will check to see if a person has violated an injunction or made threats before ordering the GPS monitoring. Judge Perry says lawmakers need to make this program a priority. "This is something that needs to be funded permanently."
Judge Perry says lawmakers have set aside $336,000 for the first year of this program. He believes it will take about $530,000 a year to properly run it.