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03 February 2006

LAPD ready to blast RFID tags onto a suspect's cars

from webpronews.com

By using a compressed air cannon, LAPD can blast a RFID tag onto a suspect's car, and track it with radio-transmitted GPS from a distance.

The company behind the technology, StarChase, calls it "real-time tagging and tracking pursuit management." Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton calls it "incredible technology," according to a report on NBC4.tv. "Let them run, we'll just basically track them to wherever they finally dump the car," Bratton said in an interview with the station.

StarChase said on its website there are more than 100,000 high-speed chases each year, which endanger everyone in the area of the pursuit.

With the technology, the police can sit back at a distance and follow the vehicle, while coordinated efforts ahead of the pursuit can be put into position to stop a fleeing car.

The signal from the tag bounces off a satellite to a secure web server, where dispatchers can watch the vehicle's movements in real time. Importantly, StarChase said their solution "is also court-admissible and preserves the chain of evidence."

The first big test will come in Los Angeles, as LAPD begins using it later in 2006. Bratton sees the StarChase solution as one that will help increase officer safety and reduce those high speed pursuits. "We're very optimistic that this might be one of the next big ideas in American policing," he said in the story.


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