Livingston Co. Police Testing High Speed Chase Technology

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NBC NEWS) - There's new technology that can stop high speed police chases and it could help save lives.

It's a new GPS tracking system, called Starchase technology, that is being used by the Livingston County Police Department -- the first agency to use the technology in New York.

Tracking darts are pre-loaded into a mechanism placed on the front of police cars and they can be deployed at a fleeing suspect if necessary from 6 to 7 car lengths away -- or a deputy can fire the dart remotely from a key fob.

A 911 call center monitors the darts and can therefore lead deputies right to the suspect.

When it comes to the legality of deploying the dart, there has to be probable cause.

In these cases, there is usually someone trying to evade the police.

The technology is still new but it's not cheap.

The units placed on cars cost $5,000 dollars and each tracking dart is $250 dollars.

But, officers say it's technology that may prevent a deadly pursuit.

"The speeds are what push pursuits," said Sheriff Tom Dougherty of Livingston County.

"When the cops are right on the offenders bumper they continue to go faster and faster and sometimes ultimately crash. This allows the deputies to back off that offender which is going to slow the speeds down."

The Sheriff says he hopes once the word is out about the new technology, it will deter suspects from trying to engage in high speed pursuits.


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