State police look for ways to prevent pursuits

A new technology called StarChase promises to eliminate most high-speed pursuits.

A new technology called StarChase promises to eliminate most high-speed pursuits. (7/12/16)

DARIEN - Connecticut State Police are looking for ways to prevent pursuits of fleeing suspects.

As News 12 has reported, a New York man was arrested in Greenwich early Saturday following a high-speed chase across state lines. The pursuit ended when state police say the suspect intentionally slammed into a police cruiser on I-95.

State Police Lt. Ken Cain says troopers actually abandon most chases for safety reasons, with weather, road and traffic conditions as primary concerns.

A new technology called StarChase promises to eliminate most high-speed pursuits. Instead of chasing a car, the officer would deploy a small GPS tracking device that sticks to the pursued vehicle's trunk. Police can then pull back and remotely track the vehicle.

"The suspects, simply put, slow down," says StarChase President Trevor Fischbach. "They slow down to try to blend back into normal traffic patterns."

StarChase is already being used by Arizona State Police and about 50 other departments. The company claims an 85 percent capture rate, although the devices don't always stick to a suspect's car on the first try.

In Connecticut, the concern about StarChase is cost. Outfitting patrol cars would cost $5,000 each. Lt. Cain says it's difficult coming up with new technology and finding a way to pay for it.

There are questions over the legality of such technology in Connecticut. Following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a new state police policy requires a search warrant to put a GPS tracker on a car.

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