The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S2305), sponsored by Senator Patricia Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), to protect the public from criminals who try to evade supervision by tampering with electronic monitoring devices. This bill would make it a new crime if someone tampers, damages, or alters court-ordered electronic monitoring equipment in an attempt to interfere with any signal, impulse, or data.
Senator Ritchie said, “As recent cases have shown, electronic monitoring devices—which are meant to help law enforcement keep an eye on suspected or convicted criminals who would otherwise be behind bars—are far from fool-proof. By passing this bill and making tampering with electronic monitoring devices a crime, we’re not only helping to deter further criminal activity, we’re also providing an additional level of protection that will help to keep communities across our state safer.”
The purpose of the electronic monitoring equipment is to assist in the tracking and monitoring of an individual who has been convicted of a crime or is awaiting trial when they are released into the general public. If the electronic monitoring equipment is tampered with, authorities can no longer monitor their activities.
In 2013, David Renz was awaiting trial in Onondaga County on charges of possessing child pornography. He successfully removed his ankle monitoring device to evade authorities and murdered Lori Bresnahan and raped a 10-year-old girl after abducting them in a parking lot. He reportedly tampered with the device as many as 46 times, removing and reassembling the bracelet with duct tape.
By making the tampering or damaging of electronic monitoring equipment a crime, the bill gives law enforcement a new tool to investigate and charge criminals with this behavior and would help prevent potential crimes committed once the individual evades police supervision.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.