Old Westbury PD unveils GPS-tracking dart technology to help find cars evading police
The Old Westbury Police Department is using new technology to track down cars that are evading police.
Police cars are now equipped with what's called the StarChase Guardian VX - a launcher that shoots out darts equipped with a GPS tracker.
Officers can use the GPS darts to track a car even if they have lost sight of it.
Police will get updates from the dispatcher so the officer can then safely catch up to the car that they're going after.
Old Westbury Police Chief Stewart Cameron says if a car is being sought or encountered a crime, the officer can pull behind that vehicle and tag it.
"If it takes off, there's no need to pursue it because we now know where it is," Cameron says.
He says officers can either fire from inside the car by pressing a button or fire the dart remotely with a remote control.
Cameron became the top cop for Old Westbury in January after retiring from the Suffolk County Police Department. He says he immediately knew his officers needed new technology.
"I know that they had 11 stolen vehicles last year and a slight uptick in burglaries and I knew at times, people would run from police," Cameron said.
The police chief says officers could also get ahead of the car they're pursuing and use stop sticks that would flatten the car's tires, forcing it to stop.
Residents nearby say they are glad police are now using the new technology.
"That's a good idea - it's really smart," said Marisol Sanchez, of Carle Place. "It's an easier, safer way to recover a stolen item."
Suffolk County police say they don't use the StarChase Guardian VX but said in a statement that they are always evaluating new technology.
News 12 also reached out to the Nassau County Police Department and have not heard back.