CONWAY, SC (WMBF) The J Reuben Long Detention Center is now using a new system to track criminals. Deputy Sheriff Tom Johnson is one of the officers who handles the GPS monitoring system.
Johnson said, "I think it's a great tool that we law enforcement use to increase public safety." Johnson said soon after Kashief Spain was able to get loose from his ankle monitoring device back in December, the detention center switched companies that provide the service.
Johnson added, "It helps inmates who are out on it from returning to jail because they are kept closer track of and they have conditions they have to abide by."
Johnson said the devices do have to be made to come off in an emergency medical situation, but when someone tries to cut it off police are immediately notified. Johnson went on to explain the new devices have better technology which is more reliable.
Johnson added, "The battery we have in the new devices lasts up to 60 hours so charging once a day so we don't deal with batteries going dead and losing GPS."
Another new service which is an ankle bracelet that measures alcohol content levels has also been added. Major Joey Johnson said, "The people that come in repeatedly for driving or alcohol related offenses so that's where they have been pushing this system."
Johnson went on to explain that the cost of the bracelets is handed to those who wear them. Johnson explained, "The only cost we have is the two full time officers that work in the home detention center program. But the savings is far greater than the cost of the two people. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-70 people total on the program so we are saving 60 beds within the facility."
The new system has been in use for the past six to eight months and so far officers say no one has successfully removed these bands.