A new technology that sounds rather James Bond-like, if implemented in New York, might protect police officers and innocent bystanders by limiting the need for dangerous police chases.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the country use the StarChase company’s launchable GPS tracker to keep track of the whereabouts of suspects’ vehicles. The agencies and departments currently using the new technology include the Arizona Highway Patrol, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Iowa State Highway Patrol, and the police department in Austin, Texas.
At present, the technology is not used in New York. However, as the GPS tracker is being utilized and tested by more and more police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country, it may be only a matter of time before NY police departments consider employing the new technology. The question is: Should NY police departments use the device?
High-Speed Police Chases Are Dangerous
Police chases occur for all kinds of reasons: a stolen car, a drunk driver, a driver under the influence of narcotics, and minor traffic violations. High-speed pursuits put law enforcement officers at risk. Just as serious is the risk posed to innocent bystanders during police chases. According to the FBI, 42 percent of persons killed or injured in police pursuits are innocent third parties.
The New GPS Technology Might Save Lives
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study determined that 360 people are killed each year in police chases. Some experts argue that the number of fatalities is even higher because there is no mandatory reporting system for deaths in police pursuits.
StarChase, the Virginia-based company that manufactures the new GPS technology, said that police apprehended 80 percent of suspects whose vehicles had been tagged with the company’s tracking device. The Arizona Department of Public Safety recently used device to track drug traffickers and recover more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
The new technology could prevent accidents and save lives by allowing police officers to avoid pursuing suspects in potentially dangerous chases. The StarChase system utilizes a double-barreled, compressed-air unit that is designed to be mounted onto the grille of a police cruiser. A police officer in hot pursuit of a suspect uses an air cannon to fire a small GPS beacon onto the suspect’s car. This allows officers to track the suspect from a safe distance and then make an arrest later with the assistance of backup.
NY police departments might truly benefit by using the new GPS technology. Additionally, the public at large could probably benefit from more widespread use of the device.
If you have been cited for a traffic violation in New York, contact the aggressive and experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC or call 866-642-3807 for a free consultation.