ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StarChase LLC, a provider of GPS tracking and pursuit management technology, today announced the conclusion of their field trials as of June 30, 2014 and the subsequent report on how its technology has given law enforcement a low-risk and highly-effective alternative to high-speed chases.
In its soon-to-be-released report, the NIJ sought to study how StarChase's pursuit management system performed in real-world situations. The NIJ report was authored by Dr. Geoffrey Alpert, a leading authority on high-risk police activities and pursuit driving, and a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Alpert conducted a thorough assessment of StarChase, compiled from a series of interviews and ride-alongs with officers who have used StarChase on scores of occasions.
"Dr. Alpert has conducted the most comprehensive analysis of StarChase to-date and the results validate what the growing community of law enforcement customers tell us: StarChase is a "game changer" that helps save lives," said Trevor Fischbach, president of StarChase. "The findings—clearly stated in the report—is that 'when a tag is successfully deployed, there have been no follow-on high-speed pursuits, loss-of-life, injuries or property damage.' Pursuits that involve StarChase conclude very differently than the many pursuits that result in tragic outcomes make very bad headlines."
The 36 case studies that were shared by the agencies and summarized in the report were pulled as a representative sample and used to illustrate the operational results and benefits of the technology.
Among the successes documented in the case studies included:
- 13 recovered stolen vehicles—with no property damage.
- 25 individuals being transported by human traffickers.
- More than 4,000 lbs. of drugs seized along with the vehicles.
- 44 arrests, including 2 DUIs without a single incident.
Beyond validating the operational effectiveness of the StarChase technology, the data provides insights on how the system changed pursuing officers' behaviors and strategies.
"At first read of the initial report findings, what immediately stood out was the use of StarChase against vehicles that were deemed by pursuing officers to be a 'near-certain' flight risk," added Fischbach. "In these instances, which included stolen vehicles and suspected smugglers, officers held off on initiating the stop and instead called in a StarChase-equipped cruiser to make the tag."
The StarChase pursuit management system is mounted behind the grille of a police vehicle. When needed during a pursuit, officers use a laser sight to target the fleeing vehicle and then deploy a cylinder-shaped GPS tag from the grille-mounted launcher. The GPS tag adheres to the suspect's vehicle and then transmits precise coordinates and speed back to police dispatch, enabling all responders to view the location and movements of the tagged vehicle in near real-time on a digital roadmap via a secure Internet connection. Pursuing officers can ease off of the suspect's vehicle, while precisely tracking and directing other appropriate response units to assist with the intercept without the need for dangerous high-speed pursuits.
The StarChase pursuit management system is being used by law enforcement officers in a dozen states and has been credited with scores of successful tags, resulting in arrests without crashes or injuries.
StarChase LLC (www.starchase.com) provides pursuit management and GPS tracking technology to law enforcement agencies worldwide. The tactical interdiction offers a safer alternative while still catching the offender. The StarChase system is a proven, less-lethal technology that provides a significant tactical advantage to law enforcement officers in failure-to-yield or high-risk flight situations. Once a vehicle is tagged, it enables a dispatcher to track the suspect in real time using a web-based mapping program. The officer remains on the street, a potentially dangerous pursuit is avoided, and the suspect can then be safely apprehended. The privately held company is based in Virginia Beach, Va. and has been in operation since 2006. StarChase products are patent protected in the United States and worldwide.
This project was supported by Award No. 2010-IJ-CX-K022, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.