A new, high-tech tool is helping an Iowa trooper track suspects who flee authorities in high-speed chases, WCCO-TV reports.
Iowa State Trooper Tom Sieleman’s vehicle contains the state's only StarChase System, which is mounted onto the front of squad car. The device fires a GPS tracking device that sticks on the fleeing vehicle.
As a result, the officer can then track the fleeing driver's every move on a computer screen instead of continuing the pursuit and creating a potentially dangerous scenario for the public.
Sieleman calls the StarChase tracking system, which costs about $5,000 per vehicle, a "game-changer."
According to Popular Mechanics, the system uses a double-barreled compressed-air unit installed in the grille of a police car, which is loaded with twin 4.5-inch GPS projectiles. Officers can activate the launcher by using an in-car console or remote key fob.
The device meets the U.S. Army Research Lab's "less-than-lethal" weapon standard, Popular Mechanics says.
At current, no law enforcement agencies in Minnesota are using the StarChase device, but officials say they are always looking for innovative ways to keep the public safe, WCCO-TV says.