GPS Tracking Suspended In Orange County
GPS trackers have been used in the form of bracelets or anklets by law enforcement and the courts for years to monitor criminals or those on bail awaiting trial. The technology was supposed to revolutionize the way authorities kept track of those involved or allegedly involved in crimes. By providing real-time tracking data the GPS bracelets could be used to make certain child predators stayed away from elementary schools, domestic violence offenders stayed at least one mile away from their victims and any person under satellite surveillance was not engaging in unlawful activities. As accurate and helpful as GPS tracking was it still had one draw back and that was that it relied on humans to review the real-time data. Unfortunately, this is where a serious problem occurred when a Orange County man under GPS surveillance removed his bracelet and the next day killed a woman he was supposed to stay away from, resulting in the suspension of GPS tracking in the Florida county.
GPS Trackers Are Only A Tool
The tragedy that occurred in Orange County Florida highlights the glaring problem with technology and that is human error. Clearly, any properly functioning GPS tracker bracelet removed or tampered with would have triggered an SMS or email alert because that is what the devices are programmed to do. However, once the GPS tracker transmits the information to the contacts populated upon the hardware the liability then falls upon the individual(s) receiving those alerts to follow up and make appropriate judgement calls. The moment the GPS tracker bracelet signaled a tamper warning police should have been called to investigate the situation, while the victim he was supposed to stay away from be informed that the man removed his GPS tracking device. Steps should have been taken to both find the man who removed the GPS tracker as well as inform the now victim of the situation as the events were unfolding.
Orange County Judicial Knee Jerk
GPS tracking offenders is a practical, efficient and cost-effective method to monitor criminals, and the suspension of GPS personal surveillance programs by Orange County is simply a knee-jerk reaction. The technology has been providing the locational details and real-time tracking data that it was designed to do. The failure was in the persons or team responsible of overseeing the GPS tracking data. Those are the parties who are culpable and who should have received suspension.
Autism Diagnosis Increases Wandering Likelihood
Every parent worries about the safety of their child, but that feeling is only intensified for parents who have children diagnosed with Autism. Sadly, the numbers of reported cases of those with Autism continue to climb every decade and still no cure or cause has been detected thus far. However, what has been detected through recent research is that roughly half of all those diagnosed with Autism will engage in some form of wandering behavior, and nearly a fourth of people with Autism will wander for a period so long that parents or caregivers will be concerned enough to contact law enforcement authorities or take additional efforts in locating those who are missing. When taking a closer look at the study, nearly two thirds of kids wandering had what would be described as a "close call" with traffic, and one out of four almost drowned! What the study does show is that those with Autism who engage in wandering can put themselves in potentially very dangerous situations and that is a concern to parents and caregivers everywhere.
The important thing to take from the study is that it shows with conclusive detail that kids with Autism are much more likely to wander than a typical child. However, it is important to recognize not only the fact those with Autism are more likely to wander, but also the hazards and possible steps of prevention for wandering. For example, the researchers also monitored national news reports and found that routinely the media would report a child fatality related to lack of supervision most likely due to wandering behavior. These causes of death included traffic accidents, drowning and exposure to uncontrolled environments. One mother with an autistic daughter explained that her daughter would frequently try to leave the house in an attempt to visit her favorite restaurants or go to a neighbor's home to read a book. Unfortunately, she would get these impulses late at night when the restaurant was closed and neighbor was sleeping, but her cognitive abilities prevented her from understanding these circumstances.
Parents and caregivers monitoring and safeguarding those with Autism always have safety in the forefront of their minds. Part of this is specifically due to wandering behaviors and the challenge of stopping those diagnosed with Autism from wandering. Installation of alarm systems on doors, outdoor fencing with manual locks and even the use of GPS tracker devices designed in the form of watches or bracelets to offer real-time GPS locations are all safety measures currently employed by parents and caregivers looking to enhance security and personal safety.
Although additional security measures are always a positive, they can no way ensure total prevention of wandering and that is why it is so critical that families, caregivers, law enforcement officials and emergency first responders are provided with the knowledge on how to deal with the situation of wandering if it does occur. Wandering by children or adults with Autism is not a health problem but more of a community awareness issue. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has went as far as to include wandering as a condition related to Autism, and that the most critical part of managing the condition is first through preventative measures with local community support. For example, if an individual with Autism is equipped with a GPS tracking device bracelet, wanders off and becomes lost, family members or caregivers should be able to seamlessly relay the real-time GPS tracking information to authorities. This will help police or first responders quickly and accurately locate the wandering individual, and it can be especially helpful if the situation involves an abducted child diagnosed with Autism that may not be able to understand the severity of the situation they are in.
Wandering is a behavior associated with Autism, and caregivers or family members need to make the appropriate preventative measures to ensure personal safety. By installing alarm systems, using personal GPS tracker devices and working with the community people can reduce not only the likelihood of wandering but also the quick and safe recovery of wandering adults or children battling Autism if wandering does occur. The most important thing is safety and sometimes it takes team work to ensure it.