Since the topic of “Stingray technology” became newsworthy some weeks ago, I have wanted to hold true to my demonstrated commitment to transparency and discuss it. However, the use of such technology—even the acknowledgement of its use or ownership—is strictly forbidden by a signed confidentiality agreement with the federal government, through which the technology is obtained. This has enabled a local news source to repeatedly and knowingly disseminate false information and fear about its use, since I have not been able to respond.
However, through ongoing conversations with the federal government throughout this period, I have recently been authorized to make the following statement:
“The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department currently possesses and utilizes such a device, which is a cell-site simulator. The device is used to locate a person’s KNOWN cellular device, pursuant to and in full compliance with the law, to further the Department’s investigative and public safety responsibilities. The capability of this technology does NOT collect content such as voice, text, or data, and does not retain ANY data or other information from other than the target device. It is used infrequently in special cases, following department policies and procedures, to locate felony suspects and/or missing or kidnapped persons.”
Because this technology—like many of our investigative techniques and capabilities—could be rendered ineffective if criminals and adversaries used such details to diminish or defeat the department’s lawful responsibilities, I cannot provide ANY additional information or make myself available for on-camera interviews like I have historically been accustomed to providing.
Sheriff Scott R. Jones