Charlotte police have expanded their $35,000-a-month electronic monitoring program significantly since its start in 2007 and now keep tabs on about 400 people at any given time, reports the city’s Observer. Police praise the devices as both a crime-solving tool and an outreach tool for young offenders. The benefits of the monitors include the ability to match crime locations with suspects.
The program was created five years ago, prompted by an increase in robberies. Although the majority of monitor wearers today are facing robbery and burglary charges, police have begun adding some domestic violence and sex assault offenders to ensure they avoid their victims. Police can use the monitors to establish zones where the offender cannot go. If he or she crosses into that area – usually a set distance from the victim's home or workplace – the monitor will alert police.