Indiana company scrutinized over monitoring devices
Millions of your taxpayer dollars go to keeping electronic surveillance on suspects the government considers a flight risk or down right dangerous.
Eyewitness News has learned a company with ties to central Indiana is under scrutiny after an accused sex offender in another state slipped away and killed a mother and raped her young daughter.
It took less than 60 seconds for accused sex offender David Renz, who was awaiting charges for child pornography, to give those monitoring him the slip.
Electronic monitors are designed to track offenders out on bond or parole and alert court officials at the first signs of tampering or escape. But federal probation officials in New York, weary of false alarms, instructed employees at BI Incorporated not to issue alerts on brief monitor interruptions.
So when Renz lost his signal for less than a minute, it was dismissed as a mere bump against a wall. Hours later, authorities discovered Renz had removed the ankle bracelet and reassembled it. He left it at home while he went on a crime spree, stabbing a woman and raping a 10-year-old girl.
Now BI Incorporated, with training and monitoring offices in Anderson, is under government review. Eyewitness News went to BI Incorporated's fourth-floor monitoring center in downtown Anderson, but were quickly turned away at the elevator by an employee who said the area was restricted.
No one from BI Incorporated could tell Eyewitness News how many offenders are being watched here in Indiana under the United States probation system contract, but one of the last big names ordered to home monitoring before his trial was convicted financier Tim Durham.
A spokesman at the U.S. Probation Department in the Southern District of Indiana says it has received all of its "tamper alerts" from BI Incorporated, no matter how long the circuit interruption.
BI Incorporated has been under contract with the Federal government since 2009 with more than $219 million in contracts.
The probation department in the Southern District of Indiana says its most recent contract expires in June, with an option for renewal.