Is GPS Speeder-Tracking Technology Cost-Effective?


A police cruiser pursues a suspect’s car. The car tries to speed off, but the cruiser shoots a dart that sticks to the fleeing car. A tracking device encased in the dart allows the officer to back off the pursuit and monitor the car’s movements until the car is found later. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch this “tag-and-track” technology, now being tested in California and Florida, could be coming to Missouri. The device, manufactured by StarChase of Virginia Beach, Va., uses the Global Positioning System. The gun shoots a satellite tracking dart with a range of 40 feet.

Critics say the technology is untested and cost-prohibitive. Danville, Il., told the package would cost about $1,200 to $1,500 per police car, plus other costs. That means that for St. Louis, it would cost at least $360,000 to outfit the 300 police cars. It would cost Kansas City police at least $421,000 to install GPS trackers in their 351 marked patrol cars. “I don’t think we get in that many chases for that to be of good use,” said Kansas City police Capt. Eric Winebrenner. “That’s a pretty good size expense for a fleet our size, and we’re having a hard enough time replacing cars as it is.”


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