Police use GPS darts to avoid high speed pursuits.

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One of the most common spy movie tropes is the protagonist’s ability to tag a suspect with a discreet tracking dart from afar. That way, they can covertly track the baddies wherever they go. Well, it’s no longer a spy movie trick—it’s reality, as police departments have begun tagging fleeing vehicles with GPS trackers, eliminating the need for high-speed pursuit.

Old Westbury Police Department in New York is using vehicle-mounted launchers that fire foam projectiles with a heat-activated sticky glue at fleeing vehicles in a car chase. The projectiles have wireless GPS tracking systems built into them, which allow police to track the car’s whereabouts. The launchers and darts are made by StarChase, who also leases out handheld units to the NYPD, among other departments. The idea is to eliminate car chases, which are dangerous and often put the public at risk.

“Police pursuits are very much discouraged,” said Old Westbury Police Chief Stuart Cameron, according to Gothamist. “The statistics just speak for themselves … suspects are getting hurt, officers are getting hurt, and even members of the public are getting killed and injured in these pursuits.”

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