GPS technology removes police from dangerous pursuits
GPS tracker allows LEOs to continue monitoring a suspect's whereabouts with engaging in a potentially harmful pursuit
By Emily Schettler
The Des Moines Register
Iowa – The chase scene unfolded last week as it had numerous times over the past 13 years for Iowa State Patrol Trooper Tim Sieleman. The trooper encountered a truck in Council Bluffs that he suspected had been stolen. Sieleman followed the vehicle for a few blocks and flipped on his lights. The driver picked up speed, ran a red light and entered a construction zone.
But the risky high-speed portion of the pursuit ended there, thanks to a new cutting-edge technology that allows officers to track suspect vehicles from afar. Instead of giving chase, Sieleman pushed a button on a console-mounted control panel. A GPS tracking projectile shot out from the Dodge Charger’s grille and attached firmly to the fleeing truck’s license plate.
The sticker shock from the tracker has been one of the biggest barriers for departments interested in pursuing the technology, said Trevor Fischbach, president of StarChase, the Virginia company that makes the GPS launcher.