ARAB, Ala. — The Arab Police Department installed new equipment on several patrol cars that aims to keep officers, the community, and even suspects safe.
“We have equipped [some patrol vehicles] with StarChase, which is a GPS enabled technology and it allows us to hopefully reduce liability and reduce the number of pursuits that we have,” Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston says.
The technology is used during a car pursuit.
“It’s an air charged cylinder that deploys a dart that will stick to the vehicle, and render GPS technology that allows us to track that vehicle and back off the pursuit,” Ralston explains.
The equipment is mounted on several of the department’s patrol cars and can be deployed by the officer during a pursuit. The dart shoots out of the equipment, and using a tacky surface and a magnet, sticks to the back of the wanted vehicle. It doesn’t leave residue.
The equipment is a first for the department. Ralston says they hope the technology will make high-speed pursuits safer for the officers, the community, and even the people the officers chase.
“There is about an 85 percent proven rate that once it’s deployed successfully, the apprehension is made,” Ralston says.
If the wanted vehicle leaves Arab Police’s jurisdiction, the department can allow other agencies access to the technology. “So they can help us track it and get involved in the somewhat pursuit as well,” Ralston explains.
The equipment cost around $6,000. Ralston hopes to be able to install the technology in more vehicles.
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