Ross: New criminal pursuit technology means no ‘Get Out of Jail Free’

Feb 7, 2023, 7:55 AM | Updated: 9:29 am


(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

The legislature is still looking for a way to fix the state’s police pursuit policy – a policy that a lot of police chiefs think is fundamentally flawed, including Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe.

“As it stands right now, the pursuit restrictions are too restrictive. It has empowered criminals to have a ‘Get Out of Jail Free card,’ and that’s a dangerous path to go down,” Lowe said.

More from Dave Ross: Chinese balloon shot down was ripe for counter-surveillance

But he also understands that police chases are dangerous. So he outfitted his department with a system made by a company in Virginia called StarChase.

“StarChase is a GPS-enabled technology, which allows an officer to tag a vehicle when that vehicle comes to a stop,” Lowe explained. “We are then able to safely approach and take the suspect into custody, thus minimizing pursuits.”

If a cop pulls up on a stolen car, he pushes a button, and a launcher mounted on the grille of the police car fires a sticky GPS-homing device that gloms onto the target vehicle and sends out its location and speed every three seconds to a computer map in the police cruiser.

It’s basically like an Apple tag, except with an infinite range. And the idea is to attach this thing to the suspect car without the crook realizing it, so he thinks the cops have given up.

“So if they don’t see the police, then the hope is that they would not endanger the public, and we would monitor them,” Lowe said. “As an example, if [the criminal] stopped at the mall and he got out. At that point, we know where the vehicle is.”

And does it work? Yes, it does.

“One of our deployments, it was, in fact, a stolen car. And another two deployments, it was an individual suspected of being involved in organized retail theft,” Lowe said.

But what’s really special about this technology is that I heard this interview on the Jason Rantz Show on our sister station KTTH.

Jason, as most of you know, is a conservative who believes in small government. But he has no problem with giving the government the tools to secretly track suspects who steal things, and neither do I.

Redmond’s new police tech working in tandem with WA pursuit laws

So if the goal is to stop crooks without engaging in dangerous police chases, I think there can be a political consensus. Even the ACLU says it’s legal!

“This is completely legal. It’s been vetted through the ACLU, the fact that the officer has, at a minimum reasonable suspicion, but in most cases, probable cause to believe that the person is involved in criminal activity,” Lowe said. “It meets the legal standards for deployment.”

And yes, he was more than happy to go on the air with Jason and describe what they’re doing though the crooks might be listening.

“If the crooks learn about it, then yes, this is a tool that the Redmond Police Department has available. So the moral of the story is don’t come to Redmond and commit crime,” Lowe concluded.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Could WA Turn Red? Trump and the Governor Race

Spike O’Neill sees right through Trump’s ’50 State Strategy’ and Jack Stine weighs the odds of Dave Reichert beating Bob Ferguson’s name recognition – especially now that there aren’t three Bob Fergusons – in the race for Washington governor. Polling suggests voters are much more undecided than we expected. Tune in live to The Jack […]

12 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Are Gas Prices Dropping? Not Really

Jack Stine investigates (aka, actually reads) a clickbait headline about gas prices. And Spike O’Neill is ready to buy an EV. Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him? Tune in live to The Jack and Spike Show weekdays from noon to 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. And if that timing, or our location in […]

13 hours ago

Photo: Bend of a running track....

Julia Dallas

John and Jake: Where’s the line when it comes to transgender children competing in sports?

Elizabeth Wilson's middle-school daughter took second place in the invitation-only Junior Olympic race for the 1600, but Wilson believes the first-place winner had an unfair advantage.

2 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Why Are White Woman Paying Thousands To Scream Therapy!

There’s a new therapeutic method in town: “primal scream therapy.” Video footage of one of the sessions is going viral, showing white women in the woods beating sticks onto the ground while they scream, a privilege which they have allegedly paid thousands of dollars to experience. But Jack Stine knows this ‘new craze’ is actually […]

5 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Trump’s Weird Excuse For Why He Didn’t Testify

Another radio station talk show, WABC, interviewed Donald Trump and asked him directly why he did not testify during his hush money criminal trial in New York (even though he said that he would). And the answer Trump gave them was completely nonsensical. Jack Stine and Spike O’Neill take a listen. Tune in live to […]

5 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Nikki Haley Flip Flops, Says She’s Voting for Trump

Nikki Haley ran her campaign for president calling Donald Trump “unhinged,” and “not qualified.” So why is she now saying she’s voting for him? One thing is obvious. Joe Biden scooped up those former Haley supporters faster than Jack Stine and Spike O’Neill could speculate about it. Tune in live to The Jack and Spike […]

5 days ago

Ross: New criminal pursuit technology means no ‘Get Out of Jail Free’