Maricopa Police Vehicles Now Able To Fire Sticky GPS Trackers

Something that might seem like it is out of a spy movie is going to be utilized in real life by one Arizona city.

In an effort to assist police in tracking suspects on the run without the danger of high-speed chases, the Maricopa Police Department has equipped four of its vehicles with StarChase equipment, a tool that launches can-like tracking devices that stick to cars.

“It’s a safer method for going after anybody that would be maybe fleeing from us, or any type of threat that could arise,” said Ricardo Alvarado, Maricopa Police Department spokesman. 

The devices can reach up to one-and-a-half car lengths and each canister includes two adhesive mechanisms – a strong adhesive and a powerful magnet. 

“Once that is attached, it will allow us to track that vehicle using GPS software,” he said. “Studies have proven that once you back off of a vehicle or once the person in a vehicle feels that they are no longer being followed by law enforcement, they tend to slow down and tend to try to blend in and try to drive normal.” 

Police have the ability to move in to make an arrest once the suspect stops, avoiding any risks involved with a car chase.

While the technology has already been installed, it will not be used until early next year when staff training has been completed and department policy for the devices has been finalized. 

“We just can’t go around and stick these things or shoot these things on vehicles just because we feel that we want to track them for other reasons,” Alvarado said. “We would need a warrant for that.”

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