ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona city arms police vehicles with cannons that fire sticky GPS trackers

Dec 14, 2018, 12:08 PM | Updated: 12:11 pm
(Twitter Photo/@StarChaseLLC)...
(Twitter Photo/@StarChaseLLC)
(Twitter Photo/@StarChaseLLC)

PHOENIX – One Arizona city is implementing a GPS tagging system that seems like something out of a spy movie to help police track fleeing suspects without the dangerous high-speed chases.

The police department in the Pinal County city of Maricopa, around 30 miles south of Phoenix, 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,” Ricardo Alvarado, spokesman for the Maricopa Police Department, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

The range of the devices is about 1½ car lengths, Alvarado said, and each canister has two sticking mechanisms: a strong adhesive and a powerful magnet.

“Once that is attached, it will allow us to track that vehicle using a GPS software,” he said.

That way police can continue monitoring the suspect from out of view.

“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,” Alvarez said.

Once the suspect stops, police can move in for the arrest without any kind of risky car chase.

Although the equipment has been installed, it won’t be used until staff training has been completed and department policy for the devices has been finalized sometime early next year.

“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,” he said. “We would need a warrant for that.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Zack de la Rocha (seated) and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine pe...
Kevin Stone

Long-awaited Phoenix-area Rage Against the Machine shows canceled

Rage Against the Machine scrapped the rest of their reunion tour, including two Glendale shows, after singer Zack de la Rocha injured his leg.
15 hours ago
Murad Dervish (University of Arizona Police Department Photo)...
Associated Press

Ex-grad student held without bond in fatal shooting of Arizona professor

A judge ruled there was enough evidence to try Murad Dervish on charges of first degree murder and aggravated assault.
15 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@CaesarsPalace)...
KTAR.com

Bobby’s Burgers by chef Bobby Flay coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Handcrafted burgers from Bobby Flay will be served at a new restaurant concept coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
15 hours ago
Arizona Secretary of State Republican candidate Mark Finchem listens to instructions prior to debat...
Kevin Stone

Arizona GOP secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem explains prior use of early voting

Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for Arizona secretary of state, explained Thursday why he regularly voted early until this year.
15 hours ago
This undated photo released by the Arizona Attorney General's Office shows Guillermina Fuentes. A Y...
Associated Press

Character witnesses testify for Arizona woman seeking leniency for ballot harvesting

A parade of character witnesses provided a judge Thursday with glowing reports about a southern Arizona woman who admitted collecting four voted early ballots in the 2020 primary election.
15 hours ago
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Large fire at Phoenix apartment complex forces 80 from homes

Nearly 100 people were forced out of their homes Thursday by a fire at a Phoenix apartment complex, first responders said.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Arizona city arms police vehicles with cannons that fire sticky GPS trackers