GPS / Telematics

LAPD Patrol Cars to Get Sticky-GPS-Tracker Cannon

October 03, 2007

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will be able to fire sticky GPS tracker devices at fleeing miscreants’ cars as soon as next year, according to the Web site http://www.theregister.co.uk.

The StarChase Pursuit Management System uses compressed-air laser-sighted launchers mounted at the front of a patrol car to fire “a miniature GPS receiver, battery, and radio transmitter, embedded in an epoxy compound,” according to its makers. The radio data channel is cellular, which means that absconding villains can be tracked anywhere within network coverage.

The idea of StarChase is that it could reduce the need for dangerous high-speed pursuits, letting police fall back and track their quarry at leisure rather than burning rubber aggressively. Then, presumably, other units could move to trap the bandits later on, when the tactical situation was more favorable.

StarChase went through beta testing with the LAPD in 2006. At that time LAPD Chief William Bratton said, “We believe this technology and the trials associated with it will potentially give police officers yet another tool to minimize the damaging risks associated with high-speed pursuits. My goal is to protect not only my officers, but the general public as well,” according to www.theregister.co.uk.

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