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Police Using GPS Sticky Darts to Avoid High-Speed Car Chases

by Jordan Arizmendi

Every day, law enforcement is developing contraptions to make it easier for them to track and ensnare the general public. The latest device is a GPS dart that gets launched onto a suspect’s vehicle and then can track the vehicle without requiring a physical pursuit. No more high-speed and death-defying car chases. Instead, the police officer can just track the vehicle on a computer screen.

“We’re trying to use different techniques right now to help us safely take down a suspect instead of chasing people through the cities at a high rate of speed, where somebody could get injured or killed,” Ramsey County (Minnesota) Deputy, with the ideal name for this story, Joe Kill said.

The GPS dart system is made by StarChase. Although the dart is relatively new, the president of StarChase says that it is already being used in over 30 states across the country, as well as in cities around the world. The price tag is roughly $6,000 per dart. A small price to pay for all the injuries, property damage, and loss of life that is often a consequence of those high-speed chases. But what price do our civil liberties take when law enforcement possesses the power of tracking our every move at all times?

The air-powered cannon, from which the dart is fired, is mounted onto a police officer’s vehicle. A green laser provides the aim for the dart. When a police officer presses a button on a controller, the dart shoots and attaches onto the fleeing vehicle. Then, dispatchers track the vehicle in real-time. If a clever suspect on the run, decides to pull over and remove the dart, that would give law enforcement a chance to make an arrest.

Although the GPS dart will undoubtedly save many lives and spare a lot of property damage, there is the very real risk, like with all new technologies, that GPS darts are used for purposes other than the initial mission that justified their adoption by law enforcement in the first place.


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