Rich Stanek's $426,150 grant request for KingFish phone tracker wins county's OK

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Tabling concerns about privacy and overreach for the time being, the Hennepin County Board last night gave Sheriff Rich Stanek the green light to apply for a $426,150 federal grant that will allow his department to buy a cell phone tracking system called KingFish.

According to county documents, KingFish "can receive information from all mobile phones that are powered on within a predetermined radius. This allows investigators to gain mobile phone intelligence regarding suspects involved in criminal activity."

The board has turned down Stanek's request twice before, prompting strong reaction from Hennepin County Sheriff's Deputies Association:

Certain members of the Hennepin County Board have a history of failing to provide adequate support and funding to its own law enforcement in the Sheriff's Office. Far too often the focus is on the urban district of Minneapolis and ignores the needs of the suburban areas of the county. ... The program will respect current Constitutional law and will require a warrant and not constitute random searches. We contest the idea of this being "big brother". We can establish proper procedures to ensure the integrity of the program at the onset.
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