GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Days after a tragic police chase that left two dead, many are still pondering what could have been done to prevent 21-year-old Calvin College student Tara Oskam and 15-year-old David Torrez from losing their lives late Saturday.
Turns out, there’s a piece of technology that very well could have been the difference maker.
Star Chase, a company devoted to safer pursuit tactics, could hold the key to less deaths on the roadways. According to them, every third day, an innocent driver or pedestrian dies as the result of a high speed chase gone wrong.
While MSP has justified their trooper's continuation of the pursuit, Star Chase has developed a device that’s equal parts safety, equal parts James Bond gadget. It’s a GPS tracking device that can be fired off the front of a trooper’s car, sticking onto the back of a fleeing suspect’s car, allowing them to end a potentially dangerous pursuit, track the vehicle, and make an arrest later.
“It basically rewrites the whole playbook,” said Star Chase President Trevor Fischbach. “Every new deployment, we know that we’re that much closer to saving lives and being part of that mission to protect law enforcement, give them better, smarter tools to do the job to make the arrest safely, but also to continue to uphold community safety and improve it along the way if possible.”
Right now, Star Chase is present within over 100 departments nationwide, with a planned expansion into Canada soon – and their statistics speak for themselves.
Star Chase says they have a 90% success rate when it comes to getting those devices to stick to vehicles during pursuit. Beyond that, Star Chase devices have led to an 80% arrest rate, versus a 72% arrest rate when police use traditional pursuit tactics.
According to Star Chase, police chases gone wrong are accountable for billions of dollars yearly in lawsuits, personal injury, property damage and loss of life, so not only could a more advanced pursuit system save lives, but it could save Americans a good chunk of money too.