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New tech lets officers track fleeing drivers while cutting down on public danger

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Police pursuits are fast, erratic and deadly. While they may be entertaining and full of suspense to watch on television, they have resulted in 11,500 deaths since 1979 -- and more than 5,000 of those deaths were innocent bystanders, caught in the wrong place and the wrong time.

"Statistically, there is more than one person being killed because of high speed chases every single day across America," said Trevor Fischbach, CEO of StarChase, which created new technology that remotely tags a fleeing driver's car with a GPS device so police don't have to continue a dangerous chase.

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, police in New Jersey were involved in a high-speed pursuit taking them to speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour. Luckily no one was injured after the driver was caught in New Jersey Turnpike traffic and was arrested.

"Following a vehicle at a high rate of speed is unsafe and it's unpredictable," said Sgt. Chris DeWire, of the Readington Police Department in New Jersey.

DeWire is one of the first police officers to use new technology that is changing the way authorities handle a high-speed pursuit.

It's called StarChase, a one-of-a-kind tracking device that is remote detonated from a police car onto a suspect's vehicle during a chase. It's meant to track the vehicle minute by minute, turn by turn, rather than chase it.

"It allows us to take a vehicle with a GPS, and then not necessarily pursue the vehicle, but follow or find it once it becomes stationary," DeWire said.

The idea is the suspect won't drive erratically or at a high rate of speed if they don't know they're being chased or followed.

Departments across the country have begun to install and use the system. StarChase says they have had an 85 percent arrest rate.