9 investigates: Task force appointed to try to fix offender GPS program problems

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A special task force thinks they know how to fix the GPS program that lost track of some dangerous suspects in Orange County.

The program has been on suspension for months, while officials evaluate it.

The jail already uses a program that claims to be able to identify which suspects can reoffend by using their age and arrest history.

Friday, task force members said they think the same program could help judges decide who gets a GPS monitoring system.

The county has had issues with GPS since problems were uncovered last year.

The county has not decided whether to prevent all violent offenders from getting out of jail and getting into the GPS program if it gets reinstated.

Orange County's Public Safety Coordinating Council, which is headed up by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Chief Judge Belvin Perry, heard from a consultant about how to assess which suspects are likely to reoffend.

That could help the jail, prosecutors and judges figure out how to handle them. It could also help the county decide whether to bring back the GPS program to monitor some offenders who are out on bail.              Authorities said the program was halted last year after Wilfred Gregory, who was out on bail, shot Calvin Johnson in the head at an Easter party, while wearing his ankle monitor.

Gregory cut off the monitor, officials said.

The GPS company found it, but waited hours before telling police.

WFTV asked Perry, whether violent offenders should be excluded from the GPS program if the county brings it back.

"I think it's a little early in the day to answer that question," Perry said.

The consultant told the council Friday they can figure out who is likely to keep committing crimes and then find ways to get them to stop, either by keeping them behind bars or focusing on fixing what's driving them to keep doing it.