San Diego

Over Mayor Roger Hedgecock's strenuous objections, the San Diego City Council endorsed a bill Monday that would permit electronic surveillance by police departments around the state. State Sen. Robert Presley (D-Riverside) is sponsoring legislation, to be heard today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, that would allow police to engage in wiretapping and other forms of electronic surveillance if a Superior Court judge and a district attorney authorize it. The council voted 7-1 in favor of the bill after Deputy Police Chief Ken O'Brien testified that it would enable police to go after narcotics traffickers, especially "the people behind the operations." Hedgecock warned that such a law could be abused by police departments and that under its terms, "landlords could be used to bug their tenants . . . It could be a good law enforcement tool. It could be a tool for massive invasion of privacy."

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