I disagree; they received anonymized cell tower data showing which phones had pinged off of a particular tower between certain hours. I'm okay with this, just as I am okay with them having access to the entire DMV database that the public does not have access to.
I think, however, that I would be more comfortable with the police not receiving a list of numbers. I would feel more comfortable with the police having to pay the carrier to send a specific, one-time SMS to all the numbers that matched their specific criteria. The police don't need the numbers, they just need to get a targeted message out.
I think that would serve to protect the rights of private citizens while balancing the investigative efforts of the police in a technical matter.