GPS Tracking Of Stalkers: Could It Be In Indiana's Future?

By WISE Web News

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Is it good public policy to use GPS technology to track the movements of convicted felony stalkers?

Some states are going that route, though there are costs associated with the extra protection for victims.

A Fort Wayne woman whose six-year stalking ordeal was featured December 9th on a national program is pushing for tougher enforcement measures here in Indiana as well.

Dawn Hillyer knows the trouble that a stalker can cause.

She was tormented by Mike McClellan, who sent her threatening emails, texts and phone messages.

McClellan was convicted and sentenced in 2012 to ten years.

Hillyer wants Indiana to follow in the footsteps of states like Minnesota that are starting to use GPS tracking to monitor convicted felony stalkers once they've been released from prison.

Mike McAlexander, chief deputy in the Allen County prosecutor's office, sees the value, but he says it would likely cost more to do such monitoring.

" We always have that competition in government of how much as taxpayers do we want to spend on new programs that may be beneficial, but you just have to balance all of that out," McAlexander said.

One way the GPS tracking works involves making the offender strap on a device that emits a signal.

The victim of the stalking or domestic violence case is given a receiver that will tip them off once the offender comes within five miles of their location.

It doesn't guarantee a stalker can't still hurt his victim, or go after a new victim.

Right now, Indiana doesn't have GPS tracking legislation in place anyway, but again, it's getting a foothold in other states, and it’s something Dawn Hillyer believes could give victims peace of mind they desperately seek.

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