Officials use GPS system to keep sex offenders out of state fair

A fence that’s invisible to fairgoers is helping to keep sex offenders out of Cal Expo during the California State Fair.

Using,software that establishes a perimeter and GPS tracking devices that identify specific offenders,a cadre of 20 parole agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has monitored parolees at the fair for three years.

One Sacramento offender with a history of sexual offenses against children was arrested in the vicinity of the fairgrounds this year.

Offenders are prohibited from going to places children regularly gather,said Dana Toyama,a spokeswoman for the CDCR.

In addition,the GPS system alerted agents to two other parolees who were not supposed to be in the area,but were not arrested.

They were escorted away from the area,Toyama said.

In addition,agents at the fair have arrested two other parolees and a gang member with an outstanding warrant in Sacramento County,Toyama said.

The GPS system was not involved in those arrests.

This is the third year the CDRC Parole Division is using the GPS system.

The first year its use resulted in five arrests of offenders trying to enter the fair.

“Based on the statistics we have for each year it’s definitely shown an improvement,”Toyama said.

The system is also used at several county fairs.

According to figures from the CDRC,there are 1,750 GPS-monitored sex offenders in the area stretching from Siskiyou County to Kern County.

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Call The Bee’s Carlos Alcalá,(916) 321-1987.

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