Should new technology be used to track down fugitives? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Should new technology be used to track down fugitives?

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) - The U.S. military is using new technology to find and apprehend terrorists. A defense contractor in Florida, called the Harris Corporation, built and tweaked the device known as Hailstorm.

A previous code name was Stingray.

It's a mini cellphone tower that can be moved to gather cellphone information.

A law enforcement version is used by handful of U.S. police agencies to learn more about known bad guys.

The Oakland County Sheriff Department is the only agency in Michigan to use it. Oakland County bought the police version with federal grant money about a year ago.

"It's a tool for law enforcement that we use to arrest wanted fugitives, people that rape, people that rob people, people that commit heinous crimes," says Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe.   

He says it's important to understand that in Michigan a judge signs a warrant in each case authorizing the use of this technology.

"A judge look at our affidavit and then decides whether or not to issue a search warrant that allows us to use this tool," McCabe.

This tool is not used to listen to cell phone conversations, according to McCabe.

"It does not listen to phone calls; it doesn't have the capability to listen to phone calls, okay? Only the federal government can wire tap or listen to phone calls, and that's under federal statute. In Michigan, local law enforcement cannot do that. We don't have the ability to do it, number one, and number two it's against the law for us to do it," he says.

State Representative Tom McMillan, who has launched a run for Congress, chairs the House Oversight Committee and says he has an issue with police using the cell phone technology.

His primary complaint?

"I do feel like I've been stonewalled. I also, they sent me to the FBI, I talked to them as well. It just seems like, are [sic] we really want to use the devices, military-style devices, and we don't know what it's doing; there was no oversight. I'm crafting legislation to make sure that there is oversight and I welcome the sheriff's department. I'm not saying that this shouldn't be used, but if we can ensure that it can be used without violating Fourth Amendment," says McMillan.

"It does not surveil people. It does not fly in the sky. It doesn't take pictures. It doesn't take video. It does not record conversations. It does not collect data, personal data, on anybody. It doesn't go into your smart phone and download anything, okay? It does not data mine. It's a tool that's authorized by the court that allows us to arrest fugitives, wanted fugitives," says McCabe.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Ron SavageRon SavageMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Livonia man dies after 2 dogs attack him

    Livonia man dies after 2 dogs attack him

    Saturday, July 26 2014 9:48 PM EDT2014-07-27 01:48:03 GMT
    A 46-year-old Livonia man was killed Wednesday evening after he was attacked by two dogs while jogging in Metamora.
    A 46-year-old Livonia man was killed Wednesday evening after he was attacked by two dogs while jogging in Metamora.
  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices