ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - High-speed chases are usually dangerous and can be deadly, but police are using new technology, both safe and discreet, that tracks the suspect(s) by GPS.
The system is called "Star Chase", and so far it's been installed in twelve St. Pete Police cars.
Above the front bumper on the passenger side, two canisters hold magnetic and adhesive GPS tracking darts.
During a chase, instead of potentially harming the public, officers can fire the dart onto the car they're chasing, then back off.
"Then we start tracking it on a secured website. That's when more units, the helicopter, and everyone else can get involved and help find the vehicle and hopefully make an arrest," Major Paul McWade said.
Police tested the system for six months before buying twelve of them through a federal tax dollar grant.
At $5,000 a piece, they are expensive, but officers say they're worth it.
"Nobody wants to be in a high-speed pursuit," Mcwade said. "We still want to catch the bad guys. SO in this case, we utilize these, and we can back off. We don't have to run through the city. This is a condensed area. We don't like speeding through the area."
So far, police have used the system about 20 times resulting in 15 arrests.
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