Greene County sheriff says new technology reducing number of police chases
Greene County lawmen say they are trying to reduce the number of pursuits they're involved in. A new tool to help with that is called "StarChase Pursuit Management." There are five Greene County patrol cars equipped with the StarChase technology. It's a small piece of metal that can be deployed and stuck to the car in front of them, allowing deputies to track a suspect's car from the palm of their hand or at their desk on the computer.
Deputies did not use a StarChase tracker on Saturday night when they were pursuing a dangerous driver who ultimately wrecked into a car killing three people, but they say the technology has proven very effective.
"We didn't need it Saturday because in this case, a helicopter being up was basically our GPS puck for that day," said Sheriff Jim Arnott.
The only reason the chopper was in place: he just so happened to be doing training with Greene County deputies at the time of the chase.
"We started that (training) project probably one hour before or something like that," Arnott said.
Had that not been going on, the deputy would have attempted to get a StarChase tracker on Andrew Lynch's vehicle. It's essentially a GPS magnet that deploys from the front of a police cruiser that sticks to the suspect's car, then allows deputies to stop what can be a very dangerous pursuit, and just wait for the car to stop.
"We are doing everything we can to eliminate or reduce the amount of pursuits that we incur everyday."
Greene County is one of only three departments in the state equipped with StarChase, aiming to allow officers to keep up with the bad guys without actually chasing them down.
"We can then back off and track it on our computers. Then we go in and catch the bad guys when they stop, or when they attempt to hide the vehicle. It's been very successful for us."
The sheriff says he'd like to eventually equip all his cars with StarChase. The department says the devices have stuck to vehicles 93-percent of the time in the field when deployed.