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Ankle monitor companies now have 3 minutes to report tampering under new law

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BATON ROUGE - Under a law signed on Tuesday by Governor Edwards, ankle monitoring companies have more rules and will now have to report certain issues with the device quickly.

The new regulations come after District Attorney Hillar Moore says some ankle monitoring companies were failing to track the criminals they are supposed to watch. Now, the companies will be regulated by the Department of Safety.

"There were no guidelines to the timeliness of the report, and the manner of which you were going to report," Moore told WBRZ.

Now, lawmakers are taking action. The law passed the legislature unanimously and was ceremoniously signed by the Governor.

The law states a company must alert parish authorities, like the police, District Attorney and the court, if they find tampering to a device. They must report that in three minutes.

They also must report in four minutes if the ankle monitor is found in an "exclusion zone," meaning the person wearing it went somewhere they weren't supposed to be.

Finally, they have to notify authorities if the battery on the monitor is low.

If the company does not provide this information in a timely manner, they will pay a fine up to $1,000 and will not be able to provide ankle monitors in Louisiana for five years.

The most recent case of ankle monitoring companies failing to track a criminal was when a company was supposed to watch a juvenile named Johnny Brown.

Police discovered Brown with a gun tied to the shooting of Devin Page Jr. Although the gun found with Brown is not believed to be the gun that killed the toddler, the ankle monitor company had no records of where Brown was from April 11 of last year to April 23. Devin was killed April 12.

Moore told WBRZ Saturday that knowing where Brown was the night Devin was killed would have been a key piece of evidence in the unsolved murder.

Even though Moore admits that the law will take work to perfect, he believes it is a step in the right direction.

"I think the law is going to help everybody understand the field and understand what the rules and regulations are, and go from there," Moore said.

The law takes effect August 1.


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