Company examines faulty device in wake of Uptown shooting - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Monitoring company examines faulty device in wake of Uptown shooting

New Orleans, La. -

The company that provides electronic monitoring for the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is conducting a forensic examination of a device that proved faulty before last week's robbery spree Uptown.

In the meantime, a man who may have fallen victim to a 14-year-old robber continues to struggle at the hospital.

Two of the three suspects in several armed robberies were arrested.  One was just 14 years old and was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, furnished by a company called Omnilink.

Omnilink began reporting problems with the bracelet on September 26, a full week before the spree, and notified the Sheriff's Office.  They replaced the bracelet on Sept. 27, but problems persisted and email alerts were sent to deputies at OPSO.  It remains unclear what actions the Sheriff's Office actually took in response to the alerts.

Bail bondsmen are often responsible for making sure defendants are where they are supposed to be, and Matt Dennis believes that an outside agency monitoring an electronic bracelet system can be cumbersome and ineffective.  He says systems handled directly by a single law enforcement agency are often more effective.

On the other hand, Dennis says the system is only as good as the enforcement agency, and he questions whether the Sheriff's Office has enough staff in place to do the job. 

NOPD Superintendent Serpas says a full investigation is warranted because, in spite of problems, the monitoring program will likely expand.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman was not available for an interview for this story, but spokesman Marc Earhardt tells FOX 8 News that the office is now waiting for a comprehensive report from Omnilink on what went wrong with the bracelet.  That report is expected later this week.

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