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Police tool that looks through walls sparks debate

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new tool police agencies can use to look directly through the walls of your home is stirring the debate: privacy versus your protection.

The handheld device called the Range-R can see through walls using what the manufacturer calls a Stepped Frequency Continuous Wave (SFCW).

It’s already in the hands of dozens of police departments across the country, according to an article in USA Today.

Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Captain David Bursten says his officers aren’t using a radar device like the Range-R, but if they did it would be a valuable tool.

“If you have information that tells you where people are that could protect an innocent person or protect a police officer’s life, that’s the name of the game,” Bursten said.

But is it legal? According to Jane Henegar from the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana it is, if the user has proper clearance.

“It’s still governed by the same rules of our constitution,” said Henegar. “You still need a search warrant to essentially search a property, whether you’re using it walking into a house or using an electronic device to allow you to see into the home.”

Greenfield, Greenwood and Indiana State Police are currently not using the device.