Thanks to a double-barrel launcher, an adhesive GPS unit, and a police cruiser, car chases may be a thing of the past.
We truly live in the age of technology – there's an app for everything. With a simple push of a button, Denver police can now remotely follow fleeing vehicles from their phones, helping to avoid dangerous vehicle pursuits.
The Denver Police Department (DPD) announced Monday, April 22, that it has started testing GPS devices that attach to fleeing vehicles. The devices are about soup-can size and propelled by compressed air from double-barreled launchers mounted on the front of police cruisers. Each unit features an adhesive that will help it stick to a target vehicle.
"When an officer attempts a traffic stop, and a suspect flees in that vehicle, it creates a danger to the community, the officers, and the suspect(s). In an effort to reduce the number of vehicle crashes resulting from vehicle pursuits, the Denver Police Department is testing a vehicle pursuit management system that provides an alternative to pursuing fleeing suspect vehicles" the DPD said in a press release.
The GPS technology is made by StarChase with the purpose of being able to track suspects without them knowing it.
Police say that they can then track the vehicle by phone app, even dozens of miles away, and set up stops or roadblocks at safe locations. This is all in an effort to minimize, or avoid altogether, the public risks and danger of vehicle pursuits, which are a standard way to track fleeing vehicles. It's also safer for deputies.
DPD has spent about $100,000 on the pilot program and has not said how many cars currently have the technology. The StarChase system is already being used by police departments in Aurora, Arvada, and Broomfield, as well as the Adams County Sheriff's Office.
"We've already had two successful deployments where we've recovered stolen vehicles and also captured those suspects very safely," said Ron Thomas, the Division Chief of Patrol for DPD at a press conference.
The departments have also come up with regulations on the use of the devices to help mitigate possible bystander or driver injury.
"Police say they recognize the possibility of injury from a projectile about the size of a soup can and have developed policies to minimize risk, including a prohibition on tracking motorcycles or convertibles," said AP News.
You can see how the technology works below, courtesy of StarChase.
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