Reports have indicated that the Erie County Sheriff has purchased equipment that intercepts private cell phone data and information, including exact locations as well as numbers of those calling or texting and also the calls or texts received.

“The recent news of the use of spying equipment by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office is incredibly alarming. I request that you call a public hearing as soon as possible on this matter in order to determine how this equipment is being used by the Sheriff’s Office, and what safeguards are being put into place to protect against abuse,” wrote Erie County Legislator, Patrick B. Burke, in a correspondence to the Chairman of the Legislature, John J. Mills. The letter was clocked into the record today, Tuesday, May 6, 2014.