When you drive a patrol car, there comes a time in your career when you'll get involved in a high speed chase. As sweat stings your brow, your heartbeat goes up a bit as you start to white-knuckle the steering wheel of your patrol car through the streets at high speeds with your lights and siren on as you communicate on your radio system. It sure looks great in a movie or it could be fun in a video game but it's terrifying at times because depending on when and where your chase begins, not only your life is on the line, but everyone else's life as well. Sometimes it's just easier to call off the chase than risk lives and property. You know that it isn't worth taking the risk. I know there have been lots of times that I needed a Secret Agent type of shooting device that works like a harpoon launched LoJack.Goldfinger Tracking Device: Didn't you want one as a kid?
As it turns out, the innovative folks at Starchase have done just that. Their Q branch have integrated a GPS tracker tag that can be shot out of a patrol car's hood with compressed air to identify the vehicle later on. The technology can be very helpful to law enforcement.
Imagine trying to initiate a traffic stop but the driver just floors it. You're in pursuit but know that you're heading into heavy traffic. You look down at your control panel past the laptop, the PA, the Radio, the Lightbar, the camera system and finally find the button to fire a "tag" onto the rear of the offending vehicle. You get a solid lock and you can back off the car giving them the impression that you've given up and they'll drive easier and won't threaten the innocent folks nearby. With that tag, other police units will be able to track this vehicles whereabouts and I'm sure that a helicopter could be involved.StarChase Launcher from a GrilleStarChase GPS Tag. Thank God you don't have to swallow it.
It's certainly a great technology and I'm sure it can be used with great effectiveness but as I studied how this unit works, I was wondering who would get it first? Considering that 50% of patrol cars probably doesn't even have radars in them yet alone the trained officers to use them properly. It can't be cheap and Federal Grant monies only stretch so far, so I don't think that many departments will get this right away. But it's a good idea. I also looked carefully at the videos provided by StarChase. it seems that the patrol car was within fifteen feet upon deployment and then I thought back of all the officers that I knew that had a hard time hitting a target with a handgun, yet alone using a patrol car as an aiming device and shooting a tag onto something the size of a door at fifty miles and up. It probably needs optical sights as well which would make training and equipment even more costly.
In spite of the reservations I have about the Starchase GPS Tracker technology, it's a step in the right direction in lowering the risks and costs of a high speed chase.
Meanwhile, for the rest of us there are a few GPS tracker options that we can purchase and to find out how our kids are driving or to find the car that some thugs took for a joyride. This fairly inexpensive GPS Tracker Device can do just that for under $150 on Amazon.com or you could always strap this Real Time GPS to find your loved ones for under $50. LandAirSea Tracking Key $129 Realtime Portable GPS Tracker $39
Until we get this technology across the board to all the good guys in blue, I'd suggest to keep aware whenever you see flashing lights or hear sirens nearby. That next collateral casualty could be you and no one wants that.