Texas firm tentatively hired to help run Florida’s fast-growing sex offender tracking system has quit, says the St. Petersburg Times. The withdrawal by Satellite Tracking of People came after more than two weeks of field tests of its new one-piece ankle bracelet, known as BluTag. A contract with the state Department of Corrections was contingent on successful testing of the global positioning system devices. The firm offered no explanation.
STOP was one of two companies that submitted low bids to expand electronic tracking of sex offenders under the Jessica Lunsford Act, which includes a three-year, $3.9-million project to track up to 1,200 offenders. The law was passed in memory of the 9-year-old girl who was abducted and killed in February. STOP withdrew from the nation’s most ambitious electronic monitoring program after winning the support of Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford. He endorsed STOP’s BluTag device as “the latest and best technology.” STOP claimed Florida’s bid specifications for ankle bracelet devices were worded in such a way as to require two-piece devices that could favor rival vendors.