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The cost of high-speed pursuit can be high: there is a risk of injury or death to officers, bystanders, and offenders, financial exposure for insurance, public and private property damage, traffic delays and more.
The Delta police at British Columbia, Canada has added a new crime-fighting tool to its arsenal, the StarChase Pursuit Management and GPS tracking Technology. A GPS launcher Deploys tracking tags onto fleeing vehicles.
The department has implemented the technology in eight of its police vehicles and is the first one in Canada to utilize the technology.
The system is comprised of the vehicle mounted compressed air launcher, vehicle mounted operator console, web-based tracking software and the handheld 54mm compressed air launcher.
The technology launches a GPS projectile from the grill of the police vehicle onto the offending vehicle. Once adhered to the suspect vehicle, the GPS tracking allows police to fall back and monitor the location of the vehicle and deploy resources once the vehicle comes to a stop.
Early last year the department began to research options to address the increasing number of ‘fail to stop’ incidents that were occurring. “It is very frustrating to have limited capacity to capture those that flee from police and we needed to seek out available tools to combat this issue,” said public affairs coordinator Sharlene Brooks. In order to solve this problem, many solutions were tested and the StarChase technology caught the attention of the DPD. Conversations were initiated with the company, but due to the cost factor, the DPD had to work with the Delta Police Foundation to ensure the funding would be available.
According to delta-optimist.com, during the last few months of 2016, a team of police officers and fleet mechanics worked with StarChase personnel to equip the vehicles with the technology. With officers trained, protocols in place and equipment installed, the technology is in place for operational deployment.
“We recognize there is no one tool that serves as a ‘silver bullet’ to solve any one issue,” added chief Neil Dubord. “However, I do believe it is incumbent on us to employ advanced technology options that may assist us in our efforts to be effective at doing our job while mitigating risk to the public. The Delta police will be assessing the functionality of the technology in an operational environment over the course of this next year.”