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NYPD SHOOTING FLEEING CARS WITH GPS DARTS, “NYPD Turns to High-Tech GPS Darts in Battle Against Soaring Car Theft Rates in NYC”

NYPD SHOOTING FLEEING CARS WITH GPS DARTS, “NYPD Turns to High-Tech GPS Darts in Battle Against Soaring Car Theft Rates in NYC”

Mar 30, 2024
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In an innovative response to the soaring car theft rates in New York City, the NYPD has introduced a high-tech method reminiscent of scenes from classic “Batman” movies. The department is deploying GPS-enabled darts in a bid to tag and track fleeing vehicles, an approach that marries traditional policing with advanced technology.

This development comes as the city grapples with a significant rise in car thefts, with over 15,000 incidents reported last year across the five boroughs—a figure that has tripled compared to five years ago.

The GPS darts, which officers shoot at vehicles attempting to escape, adhere to cars with heat-activated glue, ensuring they stay attached long enough for law enforcement to track the vehicle’s location. This method represents the NYPD’s latest venture into utilizing technology for crime prevention and response, following their exploration of robot dogs, heavyweight automatons, and AI-enabled metal detectors, whose effectiveness has been a topic of debate.

The adoption of GPS darts aims to provide a safer and potentially more effective way of keeping tabs on stolen cars without resorting to high-speed chases that pose risks to public safety. However, the cost of this new technology is substantial, with reports indicating that the Old Westbury Police Department on Long Island spent $45,000 on the system.

While the idea of shooting GPS darts at vehicles might seem like a straightforward solution to tracking stolen cars, the real challenge lies in the subsequent recovery of these vehicles. Critics argue that merely being able to locate a stolen car does not guarantee that the police will prioritize its retrieval or manage to recover it before it’s stripped down or repurposed by thieves.

The effectiveness of the GPS dart system in significantly reducing car theft rates and aiding in the recovery of stolen vehicles remains to be seen. As the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies in the area continue to experiment with this technology, questions linger about its practical impact on addressing the issue of car theft.

The initiative reflects a broader trend of police departments integrating advanced technologies into their operations, sparking discussions about the balance between innovation, privacy concerns, and the practical benefits of such gadgets in crime prevention and solving.

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