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Reality Check: The ins and outs of electronic monitoring

Officials with the Fayette County Detention Center say ankle monitors are an effective way to keep track of criminals and certain people standing trial who are out on bond. They say the monitors they use can track someone to within about nine feet and up to once every minute.

"It allows us to track the exact location of the offender while they're in the community," said Sergeant Shaun Hubbard, supervisor of the electronic monitoring program at the Fayette County Detention Center.

They say since the monitoring program started seven years ago, they've had 1,600 to 1,700 people use them. One of those people is John Buckley, now a fugitive who police say cut off his ankle monitor as his rape trial came to an end. There are safeguards in place against tampering with a monitor.

"The devices actually have several tampering sensors within them. The primary one is a fiber optics that runs through the band, so in case the band is cut, it will send an immediate alert to the on-call officer. Roughly about a minute, max, is the time frame that the alert is sent to the on-call officer," said Sgt. Hubbard.

But some say those safeguards don't help once the monitor's been cut off.

"They are designed so that if tampers with them, it will give a warning, but we're finding in a lot of cases, all you've done is wind up being told by the way, the person's cut the ankle monitor off and now you don't know where they are," said Don Evans, a retired Lexington Police detective.

Officials here at the jail say there are about 50 monitors in use right now.


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