How could GPS improve the daily operations of law enforcement groups? The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Canada found an answer to this question.
The OPP used darts equipped with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology for the first time to pursue a runaway vehicle. Officials believe that the new high-tech device serves as a better alternative to a high-speed car chase.
GPS forms part of the broader technologies for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). It can also be applied in other fields such as aerospace and aviation with other available equipment, including a GNSS signal simulator.
The OPP used the dart technology in monitoring a pick-up truck that refused to stop in London. The London Police Service worked with the OPP in locating the fleeing truck. Law enforcers were able to track the vehicle by using laser-aimed darts.
As soon as the dart attaches itself via an adhesive and a magnet, authorities can monitor its whereabouts from OPP operations centers. Officials were able to track the vehicle in Waterloo, where regional police eventually discovered that the truck was towing a stolen trailer.
The OPP introduced the Satellite Technology Apprehension Response (STAR) system in May as a new concept for advancing police work. Aside from being a safer alternative to a car chase, the technology also ensures better safety for the public, according to OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.
Not only that, police officers are now expected to perform better in their duties, as they no long need to be in a stressful and dangerous situation involving fleeing cars.
GPS technology has reached greater lengths beyond its common use in the telecommunications, aeronautics and engineering industries. Regarding law enforcement, the cost of deploying tracking devices may depend on their intended purposes, yet officials should be ready to pay a premium if the end goal is improved safety.