Law enforcement utilizes many techniques to access personal information and locate suspects. As citizens, we want the police working to the best of their capabilities when performing their tasks; however, law enforcement should also be mindful of our legal rights as United States citizens. Sadly, in some unfortunate cases, the police will invade the privacy of innocent civilians in order to perform surveillance.
In this four-part article series, an aggravated assault attorney in Tampa is discussing ways that the police track civilians. Although questionable, these tactics do not necessarily require a warrant. In the first and second sections, we covered the most common digital tracking methods for smartphones and computers. In this section and the final section, we will feature many of the devices the police are outfitted with in order to investigate suspects. Remember, if you have been wrongfully accused of a serious crime such as aggravated assault, contact the Rickman Law Firm today.
If the police need to target a suspect under surveillance, officers have access to the following types of equipment:
License Plate Reader: With the popularity of red light camera technology, civilians are aware of license plate scanners that photograph a vehicle’s plate and stores this information into a database. With scanners often mounted on police squad cars, this practice by law enforcement results in the storage of civilians’ plates information along with their location and time.
Body Cameras: Anyone that watches the news has seen video footage of body cameras mounted on police officers’ uniforms. The concept makes sense since police officers are required to turn on the body camera before engaging with civilians. Unfortunately, this requires all officers to be cognizant of their new body cams, which isn’t always the case. There are also some concerns about footage being altered after encounters, but the positives seem to outweigh the negatives, at least on paper.
Range-R: Designed by the military, this device allows the user to detect movement through walls and other structures. Although the police can not see an image, they can position themselves outside of a home or apartment complex and utilize the device to determine if a person is within the structure.
Stingray: A Stingray is a highly controversial and expensive piece of military equipment that is also used by law enforcement to intercept phone information. Posing as a cellphone tower, the technology connects to nearby phones to locate the device in question.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.