GPS Monitoring of Suspected Gang Members/Af​filiates Begins

Chief Steve Anderson and Tennessee Probation & Parole Board Chairman Charles Traughber today announced a pilot program designed to interdict gang activity through global positioning system (GPS) monitoring.  Ten offenders with suspected gang affiliations, who remain under the authority of the court system and the Board of Probation & Parole due to prior convictions, have now been placed on GPS monitoring.

        “This new initiative with Chairman Traughber and his staff sends yet another very clear message that our police department has no tolerance for criminal gangs and gang violence,” Chief Anderson said.  “From daily intelligence gathering by our Gang Unit, to our weekly Operation Safer Streets program, to our partnership with the U.S. Justice Department in the recent racketeering indictment against violent gang members, we mean business.  And our business is the safety of Nashville’s neighborhoods.”

        “Our goal is no more victims,” said Chairman Charles Traughber. “GPS is a tool that tells us where an offender is and tracks his or her movements. We’re sharing this technology with Metro Police to determine whether it can have an impact on gang activity in the area.” 

        GPS is a relatively new technology.  The Board of Probation & Parole has used it statewide since 2007 to strengthen supervision of sex offenders and other high-risk offenders.  Metro officers taking part in the gang pilot program have been trained to use the same software used by Probation & Parole staff to monitor offenders on GPS, and will respond to any alerts involving offenders in the pilot program.
        GPS monitoring relies on tracking devices and ankle bracelet transmitters worn by offenders. Tracking data is processed through a web-based application. If alerts are received, they are processed, and officers are notified when further action is needed. Alerts might include signals that indicate tampering with devices, offender presence in a forbidden area or failure to be at a specific location at a scheduled time (curfew, attending treatment, reporting for employment, etc.). Alerts are also triggered if units are not recharged on time, or if the unit is not being carried properly.

     This is the second joint project for Metro Police and the Board of Probation & Parole. State probation and parole officers are stationed in several Metro Police precincts. Both agencies say the joint effort has strengthened their working relationship and has made it easier to serve warrants.