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Legislators Debate Legality of Police Use of GPS Devices

Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 6:23 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

Legislators are looking at the legality of police attaching GPS devices to suspects’ cars. The devices could be placed on someone’s car once a judge issues a warrant, and could be used for 30 days. According to Sergeant Jason Bell with the Southeast Iowa Inter Agency Drug Task Force, the GPS devices are already used and are very effective tools in narcotics cases. Currently, law enforcement officials must get a warrant to use the devices only if the vehicle is on private property, but they do not need a warrant if the vehicle is in a public place. The devices are placed on the undercarriage of the car and police can monitor the devices to find where someone might be selling drugs, or manufacturing drugs.

State legislatures are debating whether or not the use of these devices is an invasion of privacy. Advocates of the technology say its no different than having an officer follow someone, but requires less manpower, while those opposed say that collecting information for 30 days would give officers more than information regarding their case. KCII will continue to monitor this story, and bring you more information as it becomes official.