Can police officers examine a person’s cell phone if they don’t have a search warrant?  That’s the question on which the U.S. Supreme Court is set to make a decision sometime this month. Some Illinois police departments are already asking for warrants if they feel a need to search a phone for evidence of a crime, says Sgt. Mark Folkenroth of the Quincy Police.

 “It’s still kind of up in the air. It’s really a gray area in law enforcement, so if we get a search warrant, we’re pretty much guaranteed that what we’re doing is legitimate,” he said.

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He says he always gets a warrant before searching someone’s phone, to ensure that any evidence found will be admissible in court.

Privacy advocates believe that cops searching phones without a warrant is an invasion of privacy, because the phones contain or have access to banking records, e-mails, videos and pictures.

The Supreme Court justices are expected to decide the issue by the end of this month.  The cases are United States vs. Wurie and Riley vs. California.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)