GPS Dart Tagging: A Safer Alternative to Car Chases?

Police departments across the U.S. are exploring safer alternatives to dangerous car chases, turning to technology inspired by spy movies. The Old Westbury Police Department in New York is using vehicle-mounted launchers to fire foam projectiles with heat-activated glue from StarChase, equipped with GPS trackers. Other departments in Washington, Texas, Michigan, and Tennessee have adopted similar systems, though legality concerns persist.

Critics worry about potential Fourth Amendment violations, but advocates argue proper use should mitigate these concerns. The tracking system won’t end all chases, and decisions to terminate pursuits will depend on various factors including the severity of the crime. However, criminals may adapt by checking for trackers if these systems become widespread. The debate raises questions about balancing public safety and privacy concerns.