“If you look at the micro picture—with the one officer and one suspect—you have reduced the risk for that officer and that suspect, because you have reduced speeds on the road,” Fischbach said. “That’s usually what kills people that are in the pursuit itself, because people tend to run red lights and everything else, which is when tragedies occur. Most people understand that, but what’s happening on a macro level—and this is something we did not expect—is that the entire agency behaves differently [with StarChase].

“Imagine you’ve got 15 of your brothers out on patrol, and you just did this tag and put StarChase out on the radio. What happens is that all of the officers that are involved realize that they don’t need to respond like they used to. So, you know longer have five or six patrol cars that are in the general area responding in a very high-speed manner to get to the scene of a pursuit.”

In Austin, StarChase has been very effective—“it’s just another tool for your toolbelt”—but having the technology is not eliminated all car chases, Davis said.

“It all depends on the situation,” Davis said. “If there was a suspect that shot at the police officers, it doesn’t matter if we deploy StarChase or not, we would chase that car until the wheels fell off of it. On the other hand, with a stolen car, we might deploy it before we even turn our lights on, because we know that the tendency is that the vehicle’s going to run.”

The cost of StarChase is about $5000 per vehicle, which includes initial installation, training and two GPS projectile tags, according to Fischbach. Installing StarChase takes about two hours “with two checks that what they’re doing,” he said. After the first year, typical ongoing cost for the StarChase system is several hundred dollars per year, primarily to replace the GPS projectile tags, he said.

At the moment, StarChase uses a mix of direct and indirect sales to market its product, and the company is actively trying to enhance its indirect sales network, Fischbach said.

 “I’m on the hunt for the right dealer partners,” he said.