By: Tara Molina, news5cleveland.com
GPS darts that shoot from a vehicle – it’s 007 technology News 5 introduced in a report months ago after its success in other areas, ending police chases and leading to arrests. At the time, local police departments said they hadn’t heard of this technology.
After several police chases in just the past few weeks in Rocky River, Macedonia and Wooster, we took the technology directly to police.
With criminals and suspected criminals consistently leading our local police and sheriff’s deputies on dangerous and high-speed chases, could StarChase GPS police darts help here in Greater Cleveland?
News 5 brought them up to every jurisdiction that’s recently dealt with chase.
No one would go on camera or comment publicly, because we were told no one in the area is seriously considering implementing the dart system right now.
The explanation most quoted: cost.
To equip one police vehicle with just one unit costs $5,000.
In Lucas County near Toledo, they were able to use grant money to pay for the darts.
Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp explained how the GPS darts work when we spoke with him about this technology and its success back in September.
“Imagine two barrels you place on your squad car and the officer approaching the car has a fob in their hand. When that car takes off? They can push a button and the dart comes out of the canister on it sticks on the back of the car the officer was approaching. Instead of chasing that car? It comes across the computer where that car is at,” Sheriff Tharp explained.
StarChase, the company that makes the darts, would only tell News5 the departments that have publicly announced they’re using their product. Right now the only department in the state of Ohio that’s gone public is the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.
STARCHASE: We believe that all law enforcement personnel, regardless of size and budget, should be supported and equipped with tools that help keep their communities safe. In reference to the cost, many of our agencies purchase StarChase through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) or use money from seizure funds, beyond the standard budgeted purchase – http://bit.ly/2AauyGg
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