Slowing the Pursuit

Far too often high-speed police chases end in a fiery crash, serious property damage or needless injuries to innocent bystanders, officers and suspects.


StarChase utilizes an extensive 100-percent Internet Protocol (IP) portal for end-to-end law enforcement communication administrator control. The digital roadmap computer displays real-time suspect/asset location. Security protocols are built into the vehicle transmissions to the server and the IP connection from the server to the dispatcher.

Affecting the future
As the StarChase system has the potential to be a vital tool for law enforcement, beta testing is in development. The Florida State Highway Patrol and Los Angeles (California) Police Department (LAPD) are performing field tests beginning early 2007.

"We would like to pair it to some of our license plate recognition technology," says Sgt. Dan Gomez, officer in charge of the LAPD Tactical Technology Unit. "That technology seems to have the highest likelihood of finding a stolen vehicle, so combining the two technologies seems to be a good fit."

A common strategy is to have a helicopter communicate suspect ground movements from the air.

"High-speed pursuits in which a helicopter was involved to track the suspect ended successfully in the suspect's apprehension in, on average, 95 to 98 percent of the cases involved," says Alpert.

However, a helicopter can only track; a potentially dangerous pursuit may still be required.

One more in the tool box
"When this technology was introduced to the department, Chief Bratton recognized it for its potential to give yet another tool to the officers in the field," says Gomez.

"The end result would be that law enforcement would be able to deploy the device and hopefully slow down in pursuit and be able to track the suspect."

The system has the potential to impact pursuits, risk management, liability issues and safety concerns for the community, adds Gomez.

StarChase LLC is a company specializing in tagging and tracking pursuit management solutions for the law enforcement sector. The privately held company has been in operation since 2001. The StarChase products are patent protected in several countries, including the United States

"We see the high-speed pursuit as a national issue," says Sawyer, "not only in large urban areas but in all cities around the country.

"It's a solution so scalable that it fits any police department from the county sheriff to a big city department, from a highway patrol to federal agencies like border patrol, customs and homeland security. We see StarChase as part of an entire range of law enforcement tools."

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