Police in North Carolina are getting help tracking sex offenders. A law passed last year created a GPS program so officers will know exactly where the sex offenders are, all the time. Even after Murnice Chandler is released from prison years from now the law will know exactly where he is -- everyday -- for the rest of his life. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour ordered the Sanford man to be tracked by GPS. He will not comment on the case specifically, but Baddour says the law makes the punishment automatic for certain sex offenders. Baddour said, "That person is determined to be a recidivist, a sexually violent predator or to have committed an aggravated offense. Those are the three main categories." Hannah Rowland is an administrator for the GPS program at the North Carolina Department of Corrections. She says there are 124 offenders wearing the GPS device around the state right now. Forty of those will do it for life. Rowland said, "[It] allows us to know their whereabouts if needed." Equipment carried at the ankle and waist communicates with satellites to give an offender's position. Probation officers receive updates on computer through cell phone signals. They get alerts when an offender goes where he is not supposed to. The system costs about $8.30 a day, per offender. That is more than $3,000 a year. There are savings though. It only takes a couple officers to track the lifetime GPS wearers all across the state. The GPS system does have trouble updating probation officers when offenders live in areas of bad cell phone coverage. In those cases, the equipment will send a detailed report once a day when it is plugged in to charge its batteries.
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