Virginia being one of the few states to have passed legislation curtailing the use of these exceptionally powerful devices, and mandating warrants and probable cause be obtained prior to their use.
So they don't just use this thing to go after people with an unpaid parking ticket at the discretion of the local meter maid. They actually have to get a warrant. I think this is a good thing personally. I'd rather they have this thing for when it's truly needed, but have it's use limited.
A glance at the log seems to show that in at least 5 out of the 12 instances it was used, the device turned out to be ineffectual in locating the suspect.
So it may not be 100% effective. Are we supposed to be shocked by this? Obviously it would be great if it was. But then, what is in life? Of course there are some qualifiers in the quote above. "A glance" and "seems to show". So we don't really know the full story. Just what the logs appear to indicate. It's kind of like looking at the output from your OBDII logs in your car and trying to judge how much fun you had on your vacation.
If the log fully documents all usage of the device since it was acquired, each of the 12 uses cost almost $50,000, and only 4 of them resulted in an arrest, she noted.
Do all investigations result in arrests? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. So why should this be any different. How much does a typical investigation that this thing be used in cost? I would guess it would cost a lot. I'd like to think they're not going after jay walkers with this thing. Did it also turn into a pumpkin? Can it not be used any longer? If not, then the cost per use to date is meaningless.
I live and pay taxes in Virginia and I suppose I'm looking at this a little differently. I'm happy they aren't running this thing 24/7. It almost seems the author feels they should be using stingrays every functional hour that it can be to get the most hours usage per dollar spent. I'm looking at this like my tap and die set. It cost me a bunch of money, but the few times I needed it at odd hours has made it well worth the cost to me. I'm also happy when it's not needed.