Tustin police outfit cruisers with GPS tag launchers for chases

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Tustin police receive GPS tag launchers for chases
Police in Tustin will be using a new technology that will allow them to track pursuit suspect during dangerous high-speed situations.

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Tustin police have acquired a new GPS-tracking tool to aid them in high-speed vehicle pursuits.

"Once we deploy these devices on the vehicle, the officers can start backing off and then we'll be able to track the vehicle instead of chasing it," Lt. Robert Wright with the Tustin Police Department explained.

The department said they were the first law enforcement agency in Southern California to use the new technology from a company called Star Chase.

Using a launcher attached to the front of a police car, an officer can deploy a GPS tag from a console during a pursuit. Officers can then pull back their speeding units and track the suspect vehicle while planning their next move.

The department is in the process of outfitting its cars and training its officers to use the system.

"When the situation is right to use it, we're encouraging them to use it," Wright said. "I think it will be safer for the citizens, safer for our officers and probably ultimately for the suspect too."

Tustin police said the tool will be another piece in their crime fighting arsenal as officers will still follow normal protocols for pursuits.

"This will not stop us from pursuing or apprehending these suspects," Wright said. "We will just not be pursuing them in a speeding vehicle."