Posts Tagged ‘satellite tracking of people’

2015 Training Institute: New format still produces great success

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Satellite Tracking of People LLC hosted its 9th Training Institute in Denver, Colorado. The format of the Institute changed slightly this year based on attendee feedback from previous Institutes.

Eighty-eight people were invited to attend, representing 43 partner agencies. This year attendees arrived the afternoon prior to the first day of the conference. They were entertained through dinner with the start of an online game that lasted through the Institute. The first day of the conference was a full day of interactive learning and discussion sessions.

I introduced STOP"s focus for 2016: Informatics. STOP currently has three tent-pole components of Informatics and will expand on them throughout next year. The three main components are:

Timeline This is an easy to read graphical representation of an enrollee"s activities, which can be reviewed daily, weekly or monthly. Within a given time increment, the enrollees are highlighted allowing the supervising agent/officer to quickly look for patterns or areas of concern.

Associations This feature shows enrollees who are together at the same location during the same period of time. Many agencies prohibit their enrollees from being in contact with each other. If any enrollees are at the same location during any given timeframe, an icon displays on the Visit for each of the enrollees. Supervising agents/officers simply click on the icon and immediately know the identity of each enrollee at the location and their arrival/departure time.

Crime Scene Correlation STOP developed crime scene correlation more than 10 years ago and we enhance its functionality annually. This year"s addition was the ability to do a spatial query over a designated geographic region. No address is necessary to determine if an enrollee was near the scene of a crime or near and area where a suspected incident occurred.

During the Institute, attendees received 10 hours of training that is not available anytime outside of the event. The discussion-driven courses were interactive and participatory to increase attendee involvement."sTOP also gained valuable suggestions to improve our products and services by the attendees.

The 2016 Training Institute is tentatively planned to be in San Diego, California in September or October. We have a lot to live up to the expectations set by our previous Institutes, but we look forward to showcasing STOP again next year.

GPS technology continues to be a valuable tool for supervising agencies

Monday, February 18th, 2013

A recent news story in the Washington Post reports less than 10 percent of the 1,351 defendants released from custody into the DC Pretrial Services Agency"s GPS monitoring program in 2012 were charged with new a crime. The story notes in 2012 at least 11 pretrial defendants were charged with violent crimes while awaiting trial.

It is always disturbing when a crime is committed, especially a violent one. However, the crucial role GPS monitoring devices play in effectively supervising enrollees in the community cannot be negated by infractions like the ones described in Washington Post story. The need for using GPS technology to monitor, supervise and track the movements of various populations, such as pretrial defendants, gang members, sex offenders, etc., continues due to the realities of our criminal justice system.

Facing crowded jails and back-logged court dockets, judges, prosecutors and other court officials often face difficult decisions when determining if a defendant can be back on the street until his/her trial date. GPS provides a viable option the best one short of continued incarceration or 24/7 shadowing by a law enforcement official when it comes to monitoring a defendant"s whereabouts.

In addition, on the rare occasions an enrollee a GPS monitoring program does commit a new crime, the tracking system provides law enforcement officials with vital information about the enrollee"s location around the time of the crime. Most importantly, GPS data has and continues to lead officials to an enrollee"s location and provides court-admissible evidence of where the enrollee travelled before, during and after the crime in question.

Finally, a new outcomes study released

Friday, July 13th, 2012

It"s been years since a significant study of the efficacy of GPS on reducing recidivism and increasing compliance was completed and released. The original large-scale study was released in the mid-2000"s and nothing had been completed until recently. On March 31, 2012, Development Services Group, Inc. released a 100-page report on Monitoring High-Risk Sex Offenders with GPS Technology: An Evaluation of the California Supervision Program. This report was prepared through a grant from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Although I found it an interesting read, to cut to the chase, the study showed, although slightly more expensive than traditional supervision, GPS monitoring improved program compliance and reduced recidivism when compared to the control group.

Important points of the report include the size of the study and the approach the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) takes to supervise parolees in the community. The Department provides an intensive supervision model few agencies employ, with lower case loads, available treatment programs and progressive sanctions.

I suggest you take some time to read this report and see how STOP can help you put together a program as successful as CDCR"s. The study can be found at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/238481.pdf.

BLU That means something?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

As many of you know, B-L-U are the first three letters of almost all of our hardware products. We have BLUtag for GPS tracking, BLUband for RF house arrest devices, BLUscan for our mobile monitoring unit, BLUhome for our home monitoring unit, BLUbox for our GPS home accessory unit and BLU+, an awesome new product coming out in 2012.

I ve been asked for many years if BLU stood for anything. Well, here"s the story. Back around the turn of the 21st century, our current Vice President of Engineering was developing the original one-piece GPS tracking device for a United Kingdom project across the pond, GPS tracking and RF devices are called tags. Throughout the development process of the device, people called it The Blue Tag since the case color was blue. Once the device was ready to launch, no one wanted to change the name. So the decision was made to change it to an acronym and drop the in blue. So, BLUtag and the Best Location Unit was created.

In 2012, STOP has begun reinforcing this branding. You will see our device names change in print to reflect the capital B-L-U and further announcements of Best Location Units. While some may feel this is quite a boast, I welcome the opportunity to prove to any agency we can provide the BEST units available. And the service is pretty amazing as well.

Look for further communications about BLU and our new products in the coming months. And I hope you enjoy the pictures of early case iterations for “The Blue Tag.”

Early BLUtag designs

BLUtag today

2011 will soon be over, welcome 2012!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

2011 was a difficult year for most government agencies. Budgets were cut, long term employees were offered early retirement and released offenders struggled to find jobs making many resort to crime again.

However, there was some good news in 2011. Many correctional and supervision agencies were forced to rethink how they handle their huge prison populations. Most polls indicate citizens are tired of huge correctional budgets and cutting education funding to pay to incarcerate so many people. There is a mindset shift to finally deal with those offenders whom we are simply mad at in a different way than those whom we are "scare of.

We should continue to have strong laws protecting us from those offenders who would make it hard to relax in our community or sleep at night if they were roaming the streets. However, it’s time to recognize some offenders can be punished for their crime yet be rehabilitated and pay restitution to the victim or court and maintain or strengthen family connections.

At STOP, we ve been fortunate to help many agencies as they ve shifted their handling of offender populations. Many now use GPS as the effective supervision tool on all ranges of offenders. And when Automated Crime Scene Correlation is used, agencies have the most effective supervision tool available.

STOP added more than 100 agencies as new customers in 2011. These programs range from five-unit programs that had never used GPS or RF before to 1,500-unit programs using other electronic monitoring equipment. This was an amazing year and a test for our outstanding team members. I"m happy to say I d give them all an A (even without a curve).

2012 will be another great year for STOP. We re positioned to expand our portfolio of equipment, reimagine our software interface and add features and options not available in the industry today.

On behalf of STOP, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Why agencies choose STOP with confidence

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Earlier this month, I listed 10 things agencies should consider before changing vendors. Now comes the easy part for me: explaining why agencies confidently choose Satellite Tracking of People as their new provider of GPS and RF enrollee monitoring system and services.

(1) Budget STOP consistently offers our products and services at or below competitor prices. And when agencies do dig a little deeper into pricing, STOP comes out as the best value almost every time. There are no additional costs for anything we do. What"s included?

– Shipping
– Reasonable levels of shelf/spare equipment
– Certification letters for court activities relating to the location of an enrollee(s)
– Consumables (straps, strap clips, etc.
– On-site and online training courses

So making a budget is simple. Multiply STOP"s per diem by the number of people you supervise by 365 days will give you the maximum STOP will charge your agency.

(2) Ease of Transition STOP recently completed two transitions from one vendor"s system to ours and collectively involved more than 2,000 devices. This was done over a seven-week period with the assistance from more than eight STOP staff members. We provided all the necessary on-site training courses, training materials, transition personnel, devices and technical services and support.

(3) References Just ask, and I"ll send you a list!

(4) System functionality VeriTracks, STOP"s software application, is 100% internet based. There is no risk of viruses, security breaches or malicious software invading your agency"s IT system or individual computers. Our system is also customizable for your specific needs. There are options your agency may choose not to use on day 1, but introduce at a later date. Also, VeriTracks can customize the alerts you receive, allowing you to focus on the highest priority items.

(5) Latest technology STOP is on version 5 of our GPS device and version 2 of our RF device. Each time we upgrade our devices, we provide them at no additional charge to the agency.

(6) Equipment functions Test our equipment and entire system for two weeks free. We ll provide all the training and supplies necessary for you to effectively put our system through its paces. Our support team will provide daily support by reviewing tracks, alerts, etc., so you fully understand how our equipment and services work.

(7) Geographic and environmental circumstances STOP provides multiple cellular carriers to give you the best coverage possible. Also, since our hardware is small, there is little need for large storage closets or cabinets for shelf stock. And we ship our equipment in minimal packaging to reduce our footprint in your offices and impact on the environment.

(8) Communication after implementation STOP"s implementation and service doesn t stop after the devices are installed on enrollees. We also provide proactive customer assistance and support for up to 90 days after installing equipment on enrollees. During this time, our technical support agents contact agency officers daily to discuss their caseloads and to offer suggestions for improving compliance or additional training. This is provided at no additional charge.

(9) Staff support Most agency officers who participate in the testing our equipment in preparation of possible switching to our system understand the benefits of it. It is vital for officers who will use the equipment and software have first-hand experience using it prior to the agency switching. If officers feel like they need more time than the usual two-week free trial of our system, we gladly provide it. We know it is important to the overall success of transitioning from one vendor"s system to ours that frontline officers feel comfortable and have confidence in the prospective system.

(10) Trust — We’ll earn your trust from Day 1. You’ll just have to trust me on this one …

Now that the advantages of STOP are spelled out what are you waiting for?!

2011 Training Institute Space City Success

Friday, October 7th, 2011
Satellite Tracking of People"s annual Training Institute just concluded in our hometown, Houston, a.k.a. "space City. More than 120 attendees from 67 agencies received advanced training on our monitoring system, heard about new developments with our software and hardware and shared suggestions with us so we can develop our road map for future activities.

My coworkers conducted training in subjects ranging from the basics of our software and services to utilizing evidence-based practices to increase funding and for program justification. While at the Training Institute, attendees also networked with each other and talked about how their programs operate and learned from the success of others.

I also had the opportunity to introduce a new product coming in 2012 and new strap attachments. This new device and attachment will make the coming year something great for STOP. I can t wait to talk more about them!

It was my hope the Training Institute attendees learned something new, enjoyed the views of Minute Maid Park and understood STOP"s commitment to their success and that of their agency. See you next year.

GPS Jamming – Isn’t that illegal?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I know it may come as a surprise that some of the individuals our customer’s supervise may commit illegal acts while on supervision. Good supervision techniques catch most offender’s illegal activities, but what can the GPS device on their ankle tell you? Yes, it tells the locations the offender frequents and the route he or she took to get there. But what if the offender doesn’t want you to know where he is?

Recently, there has been an increase in awareness of the presence of GPS jammers by law enforcement agencies. These ILLEGAL devices are available through many distribution channels and their cost has decreased to a point where many people can afford them.

BluTag GPS Monitoring Device

First, yes, they are illegal to own and operate. It is a violation of Federal law. Second, they have limited range and functionality. Third, BluTag, STOP’s GPS monitoring device, can tell you if an offender is attempting to jam the GPS signal. No other GPS monitoring device available on the market today can provide this information.

Using proprietary technology, BluTag can send you a notification when an offender may be attempting to jam the GPS signals. The device detects and reports the presence of and as a tool helps you look for patterns in the offender’s behavior and habits. This notification is similar to our Shielding event, but is more frequently used for detecting behavioral patterns.

You should want to know this information. STOP can provide it. Call us: 866-525-8824.

High success rate for Sheriff’s Office’s GPS monitoring program

Monday, February 7th, 2011

BluTag GPS Monitoring Device

One of our customers in California uses GPS monitoring technology to help reduce its jail population while maintaining a high level of public safety and enrollee accountability. The level of success this Sheriff’s Office experiences with its GPS monitoring program is due in large part to the flexibility each supervising officer is afforded to help set up enrollees for success while ensuring accountability. Additionally, the supervising officers are armed, sworn law enforcement officers, which allows them to immediately bring in an enrollee in violation of his/her program. Read more about this successful program by clinking here.

Evidence Based Practice and VeriTracks Tools to support your success!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Dennis Doffing, STOP’s national sales manager for service providers, writes the following post on Evidence-Based Practices. Thanks, Dennis, for sharing your knowledge with our readers.

At our 2010 Training Institutes we offered a session on EBP as it pertains to GPS monitoring. Because the use of GPS in community supervision settings has grown swiftly, we sometimes don’t think about how to fully utilize the available tools to generate the needed data for EBP documentation.. You can use our products for more than tracking to/from home and work. VeriTracks has a number of options for use in an EBP environment. Examples include using:

  • Silent Inclusion Zones to monitor attendance and duration at key counseling and rehabilitation meetings. Listing AA meeting locations, outpatient treatment address, etc. as zones gives you an easy way to see if enrollees went and how long they stayed.
  • Silent Exclusion Zones to map out undesirable places, such as known drug areas, gang houses or areas of interest, to show if enrollees visited that location without requiring you to respond in real time to an alert. You can determine if a random drug test is in order or if the enrollees merely drove by the location on the way to work or some other approved location.
  • Caseload or Agency-wide summary reports such as Enrollee Events Summary Table or Notification Summary by Event Type can assist in determining where you to focus attention to reduce events and improve overall program performance. Both are among the more than 100 online reports in VeriTracks Reports tab.
  • The Reasoncode consistently applied when un-enrolling an enrollee provides you with better data over time when reviewing how and why people leave your program. Taking this extra step also helps better define and provide a benchmark of success for you, your program and the enrollees.

All of our end-users know what they need in their particular area of expertise and application of STOP equipment in their programs. If you are using VeriTracks and STOP’s products to assist in your own evidence-based practices please share your ideas in the comments section. We all learn from the combined pool of knowledge!