Grundy County using new technology to keep domestic violence victims safe
GRUNDY COUNTY, TN -
Grundy County is leading the way in protecting domestic violence victims. Using a tracking device, the Sheriff's Office is able to alert victims when an offender is close, in hopes of warding off another attack.
It's new technology being used across the state, but the company behind it says Grundy County's aggressive approach should serve as a model to other law enforcement agencies.
In the past six months there have been about 40 reported cases of domestic violence in Grundy County, the Sheriff's Office is hoping new technology will help keep those victims safe.
"We don't want the victims to be scared anymore," said Sheriff Clint Shrum, "We want them to know we have something in place to help them be protected."
That's why the Sheriff's Office started using the GPS monitoring devices for anyone arrested for domestic violence and released on bond.
Sheriff Shrum wants to make sure the same violent situation doesn't happen a second time.
"Why don't we monitor these people, keep them apart during this time and see what happens."
The offender will wear an ankle bracelet and the victim will carry a GPS key fob.
If the offender gets too close to the victim, an alert is sent out immediately.
"We report that to the Sheriff's department and the victim is notified automatically via text message," said Scott Cranmore, Vice President of Tennessee Recovery & Monitoring.
Right now there about a dozen monitoring devices being used throughout the county.
The GPS device costs $13 a day to operate and it's up to the offender to pay the bill.
"If the offender can make bond but not pay for the monitor, they will sit in jail until that cost is covered," Cranmore said.
Grundy County started using the technology April 1st.
Sheriff Shrum says it's working. The number of inmates in the jail is the lowest its been since September of last year.
"The county doesn't make a dime from this, what it does help us do is helps is eliminate some of the overcrowding of the jail which it relieves us of some of the manpower," Sheriff Shrum said.
It's up to a judge to determine how long a monitoring device stays on an offender, typically it's between 60-90 days or until their next court appearance.
The equipment comes from Tennessee Recovery & Monitoring in Cleveland through a contract with Grundy County.
Grundy County also uses trans-dermal ankle monitoring devices, requiring a person to wear one if he/she is charged with a second DUI.