Police hope to leg up on inmates

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A demonstration of electronic ankle bracelets was given to Quay County Commissioners, two judges, law enforcement officials and the district attorney.

Commissioners had asked for the demonstration to learn how the system works and if it would reduce costs for adult and juveniles inmates from Quay County.

For example, it could reduce juvenile detention costs from about $105 per day to $10, according to some estimates.
“It’s a real option for rural New Mexico,” said Karen P. Mitchell, Magistrate Judge of Harding County, who attended the demonstration.

Harding County, which does not have its own detention center, sometimes uses the Quay County Detention Center for offenders, Mitchell said.

The ankle bracelet, which comes with its own home base, can track an offender’s movements via GPS, or Global Positioning Satellite. The GPS points are transmitted back to a computer monitoring station by cellular or land line, said Adrian Balderrama of ProTech Monitoring Inc.’s San Antonio office.

Computers in a police station, at a district attorney’s or judge’s office, a parole office or others can be used to d2ownload reports, track movements and provide other information, Balderrama said.

It’s often used for work release programs or similar situations to keep track of offenders, he said.
The cost of the equipment is governed by WSCA or Western State Contracting Alliance, of which New Mexico is a member with 14 other states.

Baderrama said it would be necessary to check with the contracts and costs provided by WSCA to provide an accurate cost of the bracelets to the county.

There are also different levels of monitoring which would affect the cost, Balderrama said.

In othe business before the commission on Monday:

• Commissioner Bill Curry suggested the county seek approval to change its parking in front of the Quay County Courthouse on South Third Street.

There are currently 14 parking spots provided with parallel parking. With angle parking, nine spaces would be added, Curry said.

Curry said the next step would be to present a plan and seek approval from the city’s Planning and Zoning department.

• Paula O’Steen, an EMS worker, will be given a letter of support to serve a three-year term on the EMS Board of Directors.

• Land owner David Kerns was granted permission to seek closure of 1.23 miles of Quay Road 57. Kerns will seek permission through a public hearing process.