Denver officers can now shoot your car with a GPS tracker if you try to flee...
With the push of a button, Denver police officers can now blast an adhesive, soup-can-size GPS tracker at fleeing vehicles and remotely follow the cars from a phone app.
It may seem like a tool Batman would use, but Denver police hope the technology will allow them to avoid dangerous pursuits of suspect vehicles. The department is testing a small number of the devices, said patrol chief Cmdr. Ron Thomas.
“We recognize the inherent danger of chases,” Thomas said.
The adhesive GPS unit is propelled by compressed air from a double-barrel launcher attached to the front bumper of a patrol car. The tracker sticks to the suspect vehicle as the officer backs off. A supervisor can then track the car with a phone app and plan a stop at a safer location.
The tracking range of the device is “quite large,” and police will be able to track a car even if it moves dozens of miles away or into the next city, Thomas said.
The pilot program started Monday and officers have used the device twice to track and recover stolen vehicles, Thomas said.
While the GPS tag is not meant to injure, the department recognized that a projectile about the size of a soup can would hurt if it missed its intended target. Leaders developed policies to minimize that risk, including forbidding officers to use the tool to track motorcycles or convertibles.
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