3:47pm

Mon January 20, 2014
Politics and Government

Rep. Maffei calls for investigation into electronic monitoring devices

To help prevent future electronic monitoring device failures, Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is calling on the federal Government Accountability Office to investigate ways to improve the system.

During the Congressman's "Discuss it with Dan" meeting in Oswego last Friday, Maffei explained why he thinks it's necessary to look for more ways to improve the system.

"There's a couple of different issues here. One is obviously what happened in central New York, which is deplorable, with the Renz case. And it shouldn't happen anywhere, but because it happened here I think we're all more aware of it and I see it as my responsibility to make sure it not only doesn't happen here, but doesn't happen anywhere else," Maffei said.

There was an incident last March in which David Renz disabled his ankle bracelet before murdering Lori Bresnahan and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

"Clearly it was a human error, neglect. That said though, we could make some improvements in the technology," Maffei said. "They have a tendency to have false alarms, go off very easily, etcetera."

Maffei's request for an investigation follows last month's introduction of legislation that calls for the establishment of an inspector general for probation and pretrial services, creating national standards for electronic monitoring devices and making tampering with an electronic monitoring device a crime.