Lucas Co Sheriff's Office to use 'StarChase' to stop high-speed chases

Lucas Co Sheriff's Office to use 'StarChase' to stop high-speed chases

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - One person is injured every day in a high speed chase here the United States.

Because of this, the Lucas County Sheriff's Office has a new tool that they say will make your drive safer.

With the click of a button, a sticky dart with a GPS sensor, can be shot out of the front of a Lucas County Cruiser and onto the back of a car they are chasing.

The device, known as 'StarChase', allows officers to stop the pursuit and travel at a safer speed and still keep track of the bad guy by using a computer program to track it.

"People like to go to the movies to watch The Fast And The Furious. It's great excitement to see the cars flying down the road, bad guys driving crazy. But that is not how it works in the real world, those kinds of things put people in harm's way. This is technology that works," said County Commissioner Pete Gerkin.

The technology that is pretty simple for deputies to use but they were still required to train for accuracy.

"They need to evaluate the space between you and the target vehicle, it's imperative to make sure you get the good shot," said Lt. Matt Luettke with the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office purchased five StarChase units mounted on the front of cruisers. They cost $4,300 per unit and were paid for through the Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund. That is money taken from drug dealers and criminals.

Sheriff Tharp says it would be foolish to not invest in this available technology that can improve all of our safety.

"We don't want the high speed chases. It kills innocent people and were concerned about driving in neighborhoods were children and family members are where they could be hurt, killed or ran over" said Sheriff Tharp.

The five cruisers equipped with the StarChase technology will be driven in the busier parts of the county. That's where the department feels they may be needed to join in a pursuit.
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