Earlier in June 2018, the Toledo City Council was debating the use of electronic microchips to monitor pre-trial detainees. Council member Rod Ludeman justified the need for microchips arguing that ankle monitors are not enough to prevent potential crimes from happening.

Ludeman told one Toledo Blade reporter that the implementation and implants of GPS microchips are “humane” and “painless.”

According to the Toledo Blade, Ludeman said, “I’ve seen enough shows on TV where the individual has slipped it off and they’ll go commit a crime and slip it back on. I can’t believe it’s an inhumane thing and I’ve got to believe the technology is there. We microchip our dogs, cats, there’s got to be a way that you can put a microchip in and it can’t be removed until their sentence is served or probation is over.”

Ludeman’s straight out of dystopian diction proposal came after the City Council was discussing whether to embark on a $179,000 yearly contract with Lucas County for electronic monitoring. The contract request came from Toledo Municipal Court as the number of pretrial offenders was increasing and jail beds were decreasing by the day.

While Ludeman continued to justify the proposal, other City Council members denounced it, saying it was inhumane.

Councilman Nick Komives stated, “As a concept, I am not particularly in favor of microchipping human beings. We might find it humane for dogs because they run off, but I think there are probably a lot of moral and ethical questions that would come to mind when thinking of microchipping humans.”

Experts on electronic monitoring and human rights were present.

“I think it was in very poor taste for the politician to try and analogize human beings to chipping your pet,” said Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defense staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

George Thomas, a representative attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, told The Blade, “That suggestion is very concerning to us. That would be pretty intrusive and probably unconstitutional.”