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Alpena Sheriff’s Office comes up with another money-maker

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on May 18, 2017 – 12:58 amNo Comment

The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office has come up with another idea to generate revenue that has the potential to become a big money-maker in the future.

The sheriff’s office is working with 88th District Court Judge Tom LaCross and an outside company that rents electronic tracking and alcohol testing equipment that can be used with certain low-risk inmates who agree to use or wear the equipment in lieu of spending time in jail.

Judge LaCross has to approve which inmates qualify for the equipment and the offender is required to pay the rental cost of the device in advance.

Undersheriff Terry King told the county’s finance committee Wednesday, that one of the devices is currently being tested on an individual “who was more than happy to pay a $400 a month fee instead of going to jail.”  The county’s cost for that equipment is about half of that.  King said a female offender will be hooked up to one of the monitoring devices or tethers on Monday.

There are three different devices.  One of them, a GPS alcohol tracking device is worn by the inmate and constantly monitors their blood alcohol level.  The same device lets the county know where the person is at all times.  An alert is sounded to the county if an offender tries to remove the device, doesn’t keep the battery charged, or drinks alcohol, for example.

Another benefit of the devices is that they keep offenders out of jail, and that means the county doesn’t need to feed them or provide them with costly medical services.

It was the sheriff’s office that came up with the idea to provide security duties at the Combat Readiness Training Center, a venture that has proved to be very profitable to the county.

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