Mayor Cantrell says testing for new electronic monitor plan underway

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Mayor LaToya Cantrell says plans For a city-run electronic monitor program are well underway.

In the midst of outrage over the murder of Pollock, the mayor says she’s got a plan.

“We have had extensive meetings on electronic monitoring systems. We’ve been testing them out working with juvenile court on what the technology needs are moving forward with an electronic monitoring program which I do support and we will get it off the ground,” said Cantrell.

Some blame a breakdown in the system for Pollock’s murder.

The judge said the man arrested in the case, Bryan Andry, was wearing an ankle monitor at a prior court appearance… but city council members were surprised to learn that wasn’t the case based on the defendant’s Bail order.

“It contains nothing about an ankle monitor and once he posted a $100,000 bond he was released,” said Blake Arcuri, an attorney for the Orleans Sheriff’s Office.

We spoke with Fatima Muse, Portia Pollock’s godchild. She says had the accused killer been wearing a working ankle monitor her loved one might still be with us.

Veteran electronic monitoring company owner Matt Dennis welcomes the possibility of a citywide program, but worries about the cost and accountability.

“Oversight, there should be oversight right now my bosses are the judges. If I do something wrong they let me know,” said Matt Dennis with ASAP release supervision.

Dennis tracks 150 defendants each day on a variety of monitors, that can be worn on a wrist or an ankle and can even monitor alcohol consumption.

“This is a simple device that connects with an app on the phone,” Dennis said.

And he says his company can do it at a fraction of the cost of a previous city program.

“Our program has one cost, six dollars a day. We have staff, computers and we fit in a tight budget,” Dennis said.

Orleans defendants are free to choose any monitoring company they want.

Some have good track records, others don’t and Judges welcome a city-run program and the accountability that It could bring.

“Law enforcement is necessary because I can make an arrest and they are trained in probable cause,” said Chief Orleans Judge Karen Herman

Some say a hybrid system might provide the right mix of accountability and cost.

“The city doesn’t need a GPS company, they need a supervision company that can supervise individuals pre-trial and post-conviction,” said ASAP’s Jill Dennis.

The mayor says she is weighing all the options, and her plan should be ready in a couple of weeks.

“More to come, but it’s happening,” said Cantrell.

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