Walbridge (13abc Action News) - It sounds like something right out of a James Bond movie. Local police are considering buying miniature GPS systems to track suspects during a high speed chase. Police say the devices could potentially cut down on high speed chases.
Local police listened carefully as they were shown how the GPS tracking system works. Instead of police engaging in a high speed chase. Officers would shoot a GPS bullet at the car. Chief George Kral likes the new crime tool.
"There's inherent dangers with high speed pursuits and that's why we like to end them as quickly as possible. If this technology works where we don't have to chase someone going 70 mph and just follow them on a map until they stop that's great," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral.
"There are children out on their tricycles in communities. I would personally like to see the high speed chases reduced to nothing," said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.
It's called StarChase. Here's how it works. There's an air cannon mounted on the front of the police car. The officer gets behind the suspect's vehicle and turns on the system.
"It propels a GPS projectile from the front grill of the police car onto the fleeing target car. The officers are able to back off and dispatchers can remotely track that vehicle," said Director of training for StarChase David Repess.
Officers can use a key fob to deploy the GPS bullets if they're out of the squad car during a traffic stop. Law enforcement agencies can monitor the car. Authorities say high speed chases have killed many innocent people. Last year two Toledo police officers suffered serious injuries in a chase that didn't involve them. A suspect tried to get away from a state trooper. The suspect t-boned the TPD officers after running a stop sign. Chief Kral says the tracking devices might save lives
"That's the ultimate goal is to keep the officers say to keep the civilians safe and to keep innocent third parties safe," said Chief Kral.
The devices are not cheap. Many departments are strapped financially. Local law enforcement are considering joining hands to buy the tracking systems.