Agencies Examining The Use Of Spike Strips After Deputy Death

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

CINCINNATI — A deputy’s death while trying to damage a fleeing car’s tires with a spike strip has a neighboring county reevaluating the use of the devices.Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Tuesday that he was temporarily suspending the use of the tire deflation device after Warren County Sgt. Brian Dulle was struck and killed while deploying spike strips early Tuesday.

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Dashboard Cameras Useful But Expensive

February 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

TAMPA — Officer David Crawford didn’t have a dashboard camera on his police car. Most St. Petersburg police cars don’t.

In tight budgetary times, that’s no surprise. Cameras cost about $5,000 each, authorities say.

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NYPD To Start Rumbling

February 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York City Police Department  is planning to outfit all its new cars with a state-of-the-art siren, dubbed “The Rumbler.” The system uses woofers to emit powerful bass sound along with a screeching siren. NYPD joins other agencies using the “Rumbler” like Chicago, Washington D.C. & Tulsa.

Civilians will not only be able to see the siren but hear it as well.  About 5,000 NYPD cars are expected to be outfitted with the devices.

We have reviewed this technology and we highly recommend it.  Most cars built today are promising the public that the car will give them a quiet ride with limited noise on the outside.  For the most part, the car manufacturers have done an excellent job on this promise and the result from a law enforcement standpoint is they will not hear your siren.

This is where the “Rumbler” comes into play.  We encourage you to take a serious look at this technology and we believe you, your agency and the motoring public will be safer for it.

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PIT Maneuver Stops Stolen Police Car

February 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

HOQUIAM, Wash. —

Hoquiam police got into a bizarre chase after responding to reports of a man causing a disturbance at an RV park Tuesday afternoon.

While officers were investigating, the suspect managed to hop into one of the Hoquiam police cars and took off.

Police chief Jeff Myers tells KIRO 7 Eyewitness News that stopping the man quickly was a top priority, so other officers immediately gave chase.

 The pursuit lasted just a minute or so until a Hoquiam officer was able to perform what’s called a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver on the stolen police car, making the driver lose control and spin out to a stop.

 Nobody was injured and the suspect is in custody.

 Resource:  PIT:  Myth vs. Fact

SKIDCAR Announces Mobile Training Course

January 10, 2011 by · Comments Off on SKIDCAR Announces Mobile Training Course 



LAS VEGAS, NV, ‐ SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. announced today that a new Mobile Driver Training Course is scheduled to be unveiled in May of 2011. This expansion promises to bring the effective, innovative SKIDCAR SYSTEM® curriculum to departments and organizations that previously lacked access to such a program.

Since 1990, SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. has primarily delivered SKIDCAR™ Equipment and Instructor Training to Law Enforcement, 1st Responder, and Military Driver Training Academies, and currently has equipment and instructors operating in 42 States. However, many agencies and communities do not have the infrastructure to support a full time driving program utilizing the SKIDCAR. Bringing a designated mobile SKIDCAR to these communities as needed, can implement a program of practical driver training on a temporary schedule. SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. would deliver everything needed including a specially trained professional instructor.

Difficult economic times have recently been a reminder that practical Driver Training is vitally important not only to public welfare, but also tightened budgets. Comprehensive Driver Training has proven to lower vehicle accident rates, reducing expenditures created by health care, insurance, and equipment costs.

The owners of SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC., Dane and Lisa Pitarresi, stated, “With today’s Municipal Risk Pools requiring their insured agencies to improve Driver Training programs, we are in an excellent position to offer a proven, practical alternative to old and antiquated curriculum. SKIDCAR training can be customized for use in Basic Driver Safety Courses, Advanced Driver Training, EVOC for Fire/ EMS and Police, and/or Military programs. Even teens or family members of municipal employees could attend safety training utilizing our modern SKIDCAR SYSTEM.”

As Fleet Administrators add new vehicles equipped with ESC (Electronic Stability Control) to their existing inventory, the SKIDCAR™ can easily cross‐train with the new technology of electronic driver safety equipment, keeping training programs relevant and up to date. Using the SKIDCAR affords small, medium, and even large agencies the opportunity to present Risk Reduction, Skid Control, and Electronic Stability Control training anywhere a suitable paved area is available. Expensive and hard to find EVOC centers and road courses are not required.

SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. is well‐equipped to meet the demands of the modern Risk Reduction campaigns of Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire, and EMS Departments as well as their need for modernized Driver Training and Critical Driver Safety Education. For more information on 2011 scheduling please call SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. at (702) 395‐ 2896 or contact via e‐mail at


SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC. has operated as the exclusive distributor of SKIDCAR products for North America since 1990. SKIDCAR™ & SKIDTRUCK® technology enable the user to adjust the co‐efficient of friction (grip) to duplicate challenging driving conditions. The SKIDCAR SYSTEM consists of equipment, parts, service support and instructor training. Driver training academies and programs that require slippery surface driving experience or an understanding of vehicle dynamics learn how thought process must be used for success of controlled driving in any environment. A proprietary controller allows for adjustments to multiple traction settings with memory so control of grip is possible for each vehicle axle. This functionality gives the ability to set the vehicle to duplicate realistic driving dynamics in complete safety. SKIDCAR technology has proven to be an accepted, realistic, and economical solution for slippery surface driver training


Troopers Probe ‘Moth’ Effect in Crashes

January 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Massachusetts State Police are investigating whether new brighter emergency lights on cruisers are to blame for a recent spike in the number of troopers being struck by other vehicles.

Seven state troopers were hit while standing outside their cruisers last year, including Sgt. Doug Weddleton, who was killed in June by an allegedly drunken driver.

Spokesman David Procopio said that the department is investigating whether the “moth effect” is to blame. That’s the theory that drivers, particularly those who have been drinking, are drawn to brighter lights like moths.

He says the agency is looking into different cruiser marking and different flash patterns to see if that makes a difference. He says the study is several months from completion

Courtesy:  Lowell Sun

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An Alternative to Vehicle Pursuits

January 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With StarChase, you just tag the suspect vehicle, then fall back and wait
For as long as I can remember, police pursuits have been a delicate and controversial topic. Pursuits are hazardous under the best conditions, and the best conditions are seldom present. Banning pursuits sends the message to the criminal community that compliance with police is optional. We have to face the reality that most cops are not the drivers they think they are. Year after year, we lose as many cops to vehicle wrecks as we do to felonious assault, and half of those are single-vehicle accidents.

An adaptation of existing technology from StarChase offers an alternative to the prolonged vehicle pursuit. StarChase’s solution places a locating transmitter onto the fleeing vehicle. Officers can then monitor the vehicle’s travel via a web browser, and corner the driver at a place of their choosing when he believes he’s safe.

The StarChase solution consists of a launcher mounted on the front of the police vehicle, loaded with two projectiles and a laser aimer. The driver of the StarChase-equipped police vehicle targets the adjustable laser dot from the aimer fixed to the front grille of the car onto the fleeing car’s body. When the officer activates the launcher, a projectile fires and attaches to the suspect vehicle.

When fired, the projectile begins sending its location data via GPS satellite signal. The StarChase technology utilizes advanced GPS technology that operates extremely well in both open and closed urban environments. Once the location of the vehicle is identified, responding officers can generally locate the suspect vehicle within 5-75 feet.

Once activated, the tracker’s location appears on a map in a secure web browser. Officers in the field can track it in real time, or the information can be relayed to officers from a communications center. The suggested tactic is to fall back once the tracker is in place, then wait for the vehicle to stop or travel to a location where it is easily immobilized or cornered. Batteries in the tracker are good for at least six to eight hours, so there’s no immediacy due to the limits of the system.

StarChase is in use at the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety (highway patrol). In the deployments that have taken place as this is written (late November 2010), the suspect vehicles have been located and recovered 100 percent of the time. When I spoke with Steve Pass from StarChase, I wondered what would happen if the bad guys just removed the tracker from the car. “The crooks haven’t been aware they’ve been tagged. Even if they do discover it, it takes some real effort to remove the projectile,” Pass told me. So far, the speed of the police and suspect vehicles at the time the projectile is fired has not been a factor.

StarChase offers grant-writing assistance for agencies interested in testing and deploying the technology. The launchers and new or refurbished projectiles are sold separately. Less-expensive “practice” projectiles are also available, and use paintball pellets to show where the projectile hit. The costs of using StarChase can certainly accumulate, but still cheap as compared to the cost of wrecked vehicles, dead and injured officers and citizens, and civil actions stemming from pursuits that go badly. If an agency can deploy a few StarChase-equipped vehicles at a time and get them in position to tag the hot car, extended pursuits are ended quickly and more safely for everyone concerned.

About the author

Tim Dees is a writer, editor, trainer, and former law enforcement officer. After 15 years as a police officer with the Reno Police Department and elsewhere in Northern Nevada, Tim taught criminal justice as a full-time professor and instructor at colleges in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Georgia, and Oregon. He was also a regional training coordinator for the Oregon Dept. of Public Safety Standards & Training, providing in-service training to 65 criminal justice agencies in central and eastern Oregon.

Tim has written more than 300 articles for nearly every national law enforcement publication in the United Sttes. In 2005, Tim became the first editor-in-chief for, moving to the same position for at the beginning of 2008. He now writes on applications of technology in law enforcement from his home in SE Washington state.

Dees can be reached at

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