In a March 19, 2015, response to my public records request, the Los Angeles Police Department responded, “To the extent that any such records may exist…they would constitute official information.” The letter goes on to state that all requested documents are exempt under California Government Code section 6254(k) and section 6255 without indicating whether such records exist.
However, a little research shows that on August 2, 2005, the Los Angeles City Council approved the purchase of a cell phone tracking system from Digital Receiver Technology for an amount not to exceed $260,000. Background material for the agenda item stated, “Most vendors only offered a product that could track phones issued by one or two cellular service providers. Conversely, DRT’s equipment can track and monitor all cellular phone traffic, making it the most advanced product on the market.” Digital Receiver Technology was purchased by Boeing in December 2008.
On April 29, 2010, the Chief of Police wrote a memo to the Police Board of Commissioners to approve a donation of $347,050 from the Los Angeles Police Foundation for a Harris StingRay II system, three high-power Harpoon amplifiers, a laptop, an Amberjack antenna and training. On July 6, 2010, the Los Angeles City Council formally accepted the donation.
- LAPD Spy Device Taps Your Cell Phone – LA Weekly, Sep. 13, 2012
- LAPD Spied on 21 Using StingRay Anti-Terrorism Tool – LA Weekly, Jan. 24, 2013
- Forget the NSA, the LAPD Spies on Millions of Innocent Folks – LA Weekly, Feb. 27, 2014
- Investigation: Law enforcement use secret ‘Stingray’ devices to track cell phone signals – ABC7, Dec. 3, 2014