LAPD Launches New Technology in Hopes of Saving Lives

by Leo Postovoit

On average, there are 100,000 police pursuits a year in the United
States, 600 in the city of Los Angeles alone, many of which end
Today marks a special time, for the Los Angeles Police Department
announced the use of a new tracking device to follow fleeing motorists
and get officers out of the way of danger.

“It is an air-propelled miniature dart equipped with a global
positioning device. Once fired from a patrol car, it sticks to a
fleeing motorist’s vehicle and emits a radio signal to police,” says
Chief William J. Bratton.

“Instead of us pushing them doing 70 or 80 miles an hour … this device
allows us not to have to pursue after the car,” Bratton said. “It
allows us to start vectoring where the car is. Even if they bail out
of the car, we’ll have pretty much instantaneously information where
they are.”

U.S. Department of Justice officials, Bratton said, suggested that the
StarChase system, the product of a Virginia company, be tested in Los
Angeles. A number of patrol cars will be equipped with compressed air
launchers, which fire the miniature GPS receiver in a sticky compound
resembling a golf ball, for a four to six month trial.

Implementation of such technology is aimed at the end of violent
pursuits — Last year, an LAPD officer fatally shot a 13-year-old boy,
who was driving a stolen car, at the end of a pursuit, as well as
This week, another pursuit in the Los Angeles area ended with a
sheriff’s deputy firing at the passenger of the car in a controversial

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