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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Debbe Leftwich
Senate District 44
Oklahoma County

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For Immediate Release: February 19, 2008

Senator Debbe Leftwich
Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Bill Would Authorize GPS Use to Protect Victims of Violence and Stalking

OKLAHOMA CITY- A bill proposing the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to protect domestic abuse victims passed out of the Judiciary Committee today. Senator Debbe Leftwich, author of Senate Bill 2163, said the bill makes smart use of available technology.

Leftwich, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, said it is a responsible to employ all available technology to protect Oklahoma citizens.

"This law utilizes the power of cutting-edge technology to provide a higher level of defense and protection to victims of domestic abuse in Oklahoma,” Leftwich said. “Too many victims continue to be harassed and preyed upon even after successfully obtaining a court-issued restraining order against their abusers.”

Leftwich said the GPS devices will also be court-issued and will automatically notify both the authorities and the victim should an offender violate geographic boundaries set by the court.

Offenders will also be responsible for the expense of the GPS bracelet, which is estimated to cost $4.50 per person per day.

Marcia Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said her agency is highly supportive of the Leftwich bill because it can help prevent future violence and abuse from happening.

 "This law offers another critical safety enhancement to victims of abuse,” Smith said. “Perpetrators use technology to stalk victims. This legislation allows technology to be used as a protection mechanism.”

Smith said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported there are about 25,000 domestic abuse calls every year in Oklahoma and victim service organizations, shelters and crisis centers, saw over 17,000 last year, including victims and children.

Leftwich said SB 2163 puts added responsibility on the offender.

"Every day in Oklahoma, victims of domestic assault are chased away from their homes and jobs and live in a constant state of fear because of abusers who repeatedly violate court orders,” Leftwich said. “The use of GPS will help victims restore order to their lives and help protect them from further abuse.”

For more information contact:
Senator Leftwich's Office:  (405) 521-5557
Email: leftwich@oksenate.gov

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