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September 17, 2010

University of Calgary Conducts Research for Safe Communities

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The University of Calgary (U of C) takes the lead on a project to evaluate the effectiveness of using GPS technology to monitor offenders in the community.

The research project, a collaboration between the U of C and the Government of Alberta, will assess the potential of Global Positioning System Electronic Monitoring (GPS-EM) as a law enforcement tool.

The three year project has received one million dollars from the Alberta government’s Safe Communities initiative. It will include gathering data from police and corrections agencies on offenders who are already under surveillance and providing Calgary Police with a larger number of GPS-EM units. There will also be an effort to provide similar opportunities in Edmonton.

“The ultimate goal here is to determine if this technology can help keep Alberta communities safe,” says Minister of Justice and Attorney General Alison Redford. “We need to test the limitations of the technology against the benefits to Albertans.”

Researchers will use the data to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology as it applies to offender monitoring strategies in Alberta. The University of Calgary research team also plans to meet with the Correctional Service Canada team to review the results of the federal pilot project.

Frank Oberle, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security, says, “This research will help us to answer questions about how this evolving technology may serve as another tool to further enhance the supervision of offenders in our communities. We want to ensure police and our correctional services have the most effective tools possible as they manage offenders and work to keep our communities safe.”

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