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Phila. Police Dept. Sees Little Impact From US Supreme Court Cell Search Ruling

By Paul Kurtz


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  Many police departments across the United States are updating their policies in the wake of Wednesday's US Supreme Court ruling on cell phone searches.

The ruling requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before searching the cell phone of a suspect (see related story).

But the Supreme Court decision will have virtually no impact in Philadelphia, where Lt. John Stanford says such has been the Philadelphia Police Department's policy all along.

Similarly in Upper Darby, says police superintendent Mike Chitwood.

"If we feel that there's evidence and we have probable cause to seize a phone -- for example, a drug raid (where) you go into a drug house you have half a dozen phones in there, so we want to get the intelligience from the phone and see if there's any type of criminal activity, we'll get a search warrant," Chitwood tells KYW Newsradio.

Chitwood calls it "unfair" to arbirtrarily search through cell phones.

The US Justice Department has already announced that it will help law enforcement agencies implement the new law.


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