TPD Surveillance Update: Plenty of News, But Not Much New Information

The latest on the Tacoma Police surveillance/phone location story is ... not much.

TPD issued a statement saying that all council members were briefed ahead of the purchase of upgraded equipment on its "general capabilities."  Kate Martin at The News Tribune reports a little more detail on what Tacoma City Council members remember (or don't) being briefed on.

Most council members don't recall the briefing. Councilmember Thoms remembers something about upgrading a piece of technology used to solve crimes. Councilmember Campbell remembers being told that the technology would allow TPD to continue to use cell phone data to track down suspects, but since it was an update to technology they already had, he assumed the previous Council had vetted it when the original approval was given.

Comments from that previous Council don't shed a whole lot more light on the subject. Last week the Tacoma Weekly published TPD's terse FAQ on the matter, which was equally unenlightening.

Our search of City Council documents from 2007 and 2008 hasn't turned up the original purchase, but the TNT has public records requests in to the City and TPD, so maybe that will reveal more information.

While there doesn't seem to be a lot out there in terms of new information, it hasn't kept other news outlets from picking up on the story. Everyone from The Stranger to USA Today to Al Jazeera America has run the story. Ars Technica this week posted a broader look at the technology behind the Stingray and its recent Hailstorm upgrade - and some of the ethical questions surrounding it.

We've heard the saying that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but does this really seem like good publicity?

Previously from Exit133: Is TPD Playing Big Brother?


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Comments

matt

The police chief assassinating his wife in front of their children was not a sufficient illustration of the venial practices of Tacoma’s master elite to get any lasting remedies instituted.
Maybe this time this is an example of something strong enough to bring to light what Tacoma really is. You can count out the feds. Our pres, is to similar in ethics to see any action there. Maybe if some minorities civil rights was being violated sufficiently it would be enough to get something done by the State? No we need some people to go Ferguson before anything would be done. Then those actually present at the incident will see what can and does happen to victim/citizens every day in this dictatorship. If there was only one dictator it would be possible to get something done. But every member of the elite and their appointed minions is a dictator to every ordinary citizen.
Tacoma News Tribune, May 20, 2013 - Tacoma’s ethics board has found newly appointed City Councilman Robert Thoms violated city ethics rules. A victim of following the dictates of his masters who unfortunately was caught, betrayed for not doing what he was told to do? Did you vote for this person? You did not and will not ever get a chance to correct the policies of those in charge, behind the curtain, of Tacoma’s slippery ethics. Seems to me that the rule is to appoint, crown, individuals who will follow the directives they are given. The voters, sheeple, are too blind to have a say in the way that Tacoma is run. Woe to you if you point out any fishy dealings. The Tribune is not a voice for Tacoma citizens, it is a corporate master/slave of Tacoma’s elite. Maybe Ryan Mello learned this lesson?

September 6, 2014 at 8:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Look no further than The American Leadership Forum if you want to know who the puppet masters are.  I have written volumes on why this organization should be run out of town.  They operate as a shadow government, kinda’ like a Tacoma version of Tamany Hall.  And yes The News Buffoon is among the favored few who have a voice in how this City operates.

September 7, 2014 at 9:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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abraham, martin, and john

Look no further than The American Leadership Forum if you want to know who the puppet masters are.  I have written volumes on why this organization should be run out of town.  They operate as a shadow government, kinda’ like a Tacoma version of Tamany Hall.  And yes The News Buffoon is among the favored few who have a voice in how this City operates.

While I would tend to agree with your solution as maybe a step in the right direction of motion, on a relative scale, of course. They are a spooky group, what with the obvious disguises and such, and the camo on that bus is pretty obvious.

I would like to pose one question?

Of course part of why Tacoma is not on the level is because of those darn hills and knolls. Maybe we should try to find a solution to that problem. Oh, but we would have to hire an out of town study group to seek a method to find the solution?? I do believe that 42 may have something to do with it also.

September 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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