GPS darts help stop high-speed police chases

Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 17:18:03-04

Darts armed with GPS technology are changing the way police and sheriff's departments chase criminals who run. 

A sheriff's department in Toledo used them just this week when a man pulled a gun on a deputy and then drove off. The GPS dart led to that man's arrest.

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp told News 5 they got the StarChase dart system through a grant last year.

"Imagine two barrels you place on your squad car and the officer approaching the car has a fob in their hand. When that car takes off? They can push a button and the dart comes out of the canister on it, sticks on the back of the car the officer was approaching. Instead of chasing that car? It comes across the computer where that car is at. And when it stops? Then we can move in and apprehend the driver," Sheriff Tharp explained. 

A police chase can be more complicated than you may think. Police and sheriff's departments abide by different rules when it comes to what they can and can't do - and when to abandon a chase.

So, could this be helpful in Cleveland and it's surrounding cities, where jurisdictional issues and chase policies are brought up often? 

"We in law enforcement need to change with the times and take advantage of every tool available to us," Sheriff Tharp said. 

News 5 checked in with more than a dozen local police and sheriff's departments in the Cleveland and Akron area. Most of them have never heard of this technology. We will check back and see if anyone decides to try this locally.