Ankle monitoring company calls for better communication standards
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Before 60-year-old Portia Pollock was carjacked and stabbed to death, her accused killer, Bryan Andry, was released from jail. He was supposed to be placed on an ankle monitor, but the owner and operators of the monitoring company, ASAP, say that didn’t happen.
“We are talking about a communication gap that caused that person to be released without a supervision program in place,” says Jill Dennis.
Company owner Matt Dennis and his staff went before the council’s criminal justice committee to ask for help. They want a standard operating system in place to improve communication from the court; from the time an accused offender is ordered to be electronically monitored to notifying police of their status.
“The communication link is not established in a way that is organized or easy to identify or track. It’s not there. There’s no communication with these entities at this moment,” says Dennis.
Council members agreed -- something must be done.
“Every single person that is released on electronic monitoring in Orleans Parish, the NOPD should have a knowledge of that,” says Councilmember Jay Banks.
“I think if you put those measures in place, everybody has access to it. Whether it’s NOPD or whether another department is able to address it,” says Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen.
While councilmembers agreed communication standards need improvement moving forward, Councilmember Banks took issue with why individuals were allowed to be placed on an ankle monitor in the first place.
“We’ve been ordered to monitor a guy with charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated battery, aggravated battery, aggravated battery, and the list goes on for six more pages,” says Dennis.
“That’s not a hole in the bucket. That bucket ain’t even got a bottom in it. Nobody should be out with six pages of aggravated anything,” says Banks.
But the owner of the ankle monitoring company says he gets his order from the judges.
“Our job is to supervise based on an order that’s written out in clear language, and we just follow that order to its letter,” says Dennis.
Dennis says following the court order can be tough, especially given the level of the accused violent offenders they’re often dealing with, but he says improving communication will make it easier for everyone involved.
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