St. Ann police invest in technology to avoid potentially dangerous chases

ST. ANN, Mo. – If you try to run from St. Ann police, chances are you’ll get caught. The department is changing how it catches fleeing drivers, thanks to a new tool that’ll be mounted on the front of their police cars.

St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez said he’s using seized drug money to pay for some new GPS technology called Star Chase. It’s designed to make police chases safer for everyone on the road.

“We’ve been called cowboys and that we don’t care about people and that’s not the case,” Jimenez said.

“The GPS immediately starts tracking that car. It allows us to stay at a safe distance and follow back miles away, with no lights or sirens on,” Jimenez said.

A GPS device is mounted on the front of 10 police cars and when a pursuit gets too dangerous, the device is shot onto the suspect’s car, where it sticks. It allows police to know exactly where the suspects stop.

The Smart Chaser program will cost about $55,000 at the start and approximately $10,000 to maintain each year. The new devices are set to arrive by the end of August. It's an investment the chief said is key to keeping an eye on the roads while minimizing the impact on the public.

"Let’s say the person or suspects get away, we are going to process that car, get DNA, fingerprints, anything we can off of that car,” Jimenez said. “We never want to see a loss of life, a serious crash, even small injuries can linger on for a long period of time.”