Police are using GPS tracking darts to tag fleeing vehicles and avoid dangerous pursuits


Tag, you’re it: Police departments across the country are exploring safer alternatives to risky car chases, drawing inspiration from technology commonly depicted in spy movies to achieve their objectives.

The Old Westbury Police Department in New York has implemented a novel approach to address fleeing vehicles during car chases. They have outfitted some cruisers with vehicle-mounted launchers that deploy foam projectiles containing heat-activated sticky glue from a company called StarChase.

The non-lethal projectiles are equipped with a wireless GPS tracker, enabling law enforcement to monitor a tagged vehicle’s location in real-time without having to give chase. The darts are fired using compressed air, and travel at roughly 30 mph. Because they are made of foam, they should not cause any permanent damage to vehicles or the public.

Departments in Washington, Texas, Michigan, and Tennessee have also adopted the system, but not everyone is convinced of its legality.

As The Drive highlights, some have wondered aloud whether or not the tracking system violates Fourth Amendment rights. If used “in the kind of way that everyone probably imagines,” like catching up to a suspect as soon as possible (not letting them drive around so police can learn things about them) and removing the dart as soon as the suspect has been apprehended, then it should not be an issue, said ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley.

To be clear, the tracking system is not going to end all chases. A decision on whether or not to terminate a pursuit will no doubt involve the severity of the alleged crime committed. What’s more, police will still have to tail a suspect vehicle long enough to successfully deploy a tracking dart. And should the anti-chase measure gain widespread traction, you can be sure that criminals will eventually start to pull over and check their vehicle for trackers after police have stopped chasing them.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Would you rather police tag fleeing cars with GPS darts instead of chasing them and risking innocent lives, or is this too much of a privacy concern?


Source link

Russia’s primary chipmaker is struggling with a defect rate of about 50 percent

Google says running AI locally on phones requires tons of RAM