State Senator Proposes GPS Stalking Legislation

12:19 AM, May 29, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY -- The family of Jackie Wisniewski, the woman killed last year at ECMC by her ex-boyfriend, Doctor Timothy Jorden, joined State Senator Tim Kennedy Tuesday to announce new legislation which would make it a felony to stalk someone using a GPS device.

Wisniewski's brother, Dave, remembered his sister as someone who loved life and being a mother to her young son.

WEB EXTRA: Read the entire bill here

"She was deeply devoted to her family. She wanted nothing more than for everyone to come together. We called her the glue of the family," Dave Wisniewski said.

Jackie lost her life last June, when Jorden shot and killed her at point blank range in a stairwell at ECMC, where they both worked, before turning the gun on himself in a wooded area near his Lakeview home.

When her brother spoke with us last year, less than two months after Jackie's death, he said Jackie was so afraid of her ex that she would have friends walk her to and from her car at work.

"There was never a question she was in fear of her life. All of her family and friends knew it," he said.

After the couple broke up, Jorden kept calling and texting Jackie. Then, he started stalking her. He would show up where she was. Jackie discovered Jorden had installed a GPS device on her car.

Three months before she was murdered, Jackie told West Seneca police about the tracking device and harassment, but she did not want to press charges.

The new legislation proposed by Senator Kennedy would allow law enforcement to pursue the case without the victim pressing charges.

"It takes the onus away from the victim," Senator Kennedy said at Tuesday morning's news conference. "Oftentimes the victims are afraid to press those charges. They're fearful for their life, for good reason."

The proposed bill defines an electronic tracking device as any device attached to a vehicle or other movable thing that reveals its location by electronic signals.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in 13 stalking cases involves some type of electronic monitoring. Right now, there is no law specifically outlawing GPS devices in stalking cases.

"My family and I recognize there are a lot of stories like this out there where the ending hasn't yet been written and the hope is someone out there will hear our story, and it won't end like this," says Wisniewski.

And, if this proposed legislation becomes law, the hope is that it won't have to.

There are a few exceptions. Parents and guardians would still be allowed to use GPS devices to track their children. There are cell phone apps that let you do that. Also, some parents use GPS tracking to keep an eye on their teenage drivers. That would still be legal. And, police of course would still use this technology to track people who are missing and solve crimes.

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