It’s the stuff of James Bond flicks, except that it’s very, very real. Police officers in multiple states are employing a new cutting-edge technology that involves outfitting law enforcement cruisers with high-powered cannons that shoot small tracking devices at the cars of fleeing suspects with the press of a button. The goal is to curb the number of risky high-speed chases that happen on America’s streets and highways every day -and to save hundreds of lives each year.
As soon as a tracer is successfully shot and attached to a fleeing vehicle, the chase is over – or so the suspect thinks.
“After they think the officer has disengaged, they back down to normal speeds to blend in with traffic so they don’t get noticed again” Iowa State Patrol Trooper Tim Sieleman recently told reporters.
Little does the suspect know that he’s still being tracked and chased, albeit at a slower, safer rate. With the help of the trackers, police officers eventually catch up with the unsuspecting suspect, justice is served and, hopefully, no one is hurt.
If the technology works, it potentially could save thousands of lives. Consider these statistics collected by PursuitSAFETY, a nonprofit organization working to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that result from vehicular police pursuit and response call crashes:
What’s worse – The vast majority of these police chases end not in jail time for some violent crime, but in probation, typically for a routine traffic violation – something that’s just not worth the devastation.
We understand – cops are just doing their jobs and for that, we’re deeply appreciative. So, we give props to those cops who are using this new technology. But it doesn’t come cheap. The cannons run about $5,000 a piece, and each round of trackers costs $500. Still, it’s a small price to pay when you consider the sheer number of innocent lives lost each year.
Does your local law enforcement use these tracker-shooting cannons? Post your stories on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.