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Nassau seeks to use GPS to avert domestic violence

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Following Suffolk County's lead, Nassau will seek to significantly increase the use of GPS devices to track people with domestic violence-related protective orders against them.

County Executive Edward Mangano announced Friday that Nassau police will lead a pilot program to expand GPS tracking of alleged abusers beginning at arraignment.

Nassau now largely uses GPS to monitor convicted sex offenders.

Authorities are alerted if the person violates restrictions on where they can live or tampers with their device.

The model would be used for the new program, with the devices alerting domestic violence victims when their abuser is nearby.

Mangano said it "will make domestic violence victims safer and hold domestic violence offenders more accountable," adding that Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, a fellow Republican who is running for district attorney, suggested the county start the program.

"The fear that victims endure over the prospect of their abusers returning to attack them again is unimaginable and heartbreaking," Murray said.

Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, a Democrat who is running for a full elected term, will be represented on a committee Mangano is forming to discuss the program.

"I look forward, as a prosecutor who has devoted the bulk of a 24-year career to the protection of women and children both in and out of the courtroom, to sharing my experience," Singas said Friday.

Nassau's announcement came a day after a Suffolk legislative committee passed a bill that seeks vendors for the devices to alert victims when subjects of their protective orders are nearby.

Suffolk's bill also would expand GPS tracking.

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