Spotlight: StarChase aims to make pursuits safer – or prevent them altogether
The vehicle-mounted GPS launcher transmits a fleeing vehicle’s location to dispatch in real time, allowing officers to fall back and plan a safe apprehension
Company name: StarChase
Headquarters: Virginia Beach, Va.
Signature Product: Vehicle-Mounted GPS Launcher
1. Where did your company name originate?
The “Star” in the name StarChase represents the GPS functionality of our products, and the “Chase” refers to high-speed pursuits, a nod to the main purpose for the use of our flagship GPS tag launchers.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Years ago, our president, Trevor Fischbach, spoke with a law enforcement officer, and they engaged in a discussion about the pursuit management tools that had been available at the time. He was surprised to find that most of these tools came with several risks of their own, so he began to take an interest in finding a better way to make pursuits safer – or prevent them altogether.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Our signature product is our Vehicle-Mounted GPS Launcher, a lightweight device that mounts on the front of a law enforcement vehicle. The device launches projectiles that attach to a fleeing vehicle and transmit its location to dispatch in real time. Instead of engaging in a pursuit at high speeds that can be risky and potentially lethal, the device enables officers to fall back from the pursuit, track the suspect in real time, and coordinate a response with dispatch to plan a safe apprehension.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
Technology is always advancing across public safety – both to save lives and improve efficiency. However, it’s hard to come by solutions that give law enforcement the tactical advantage without compromising safety. That’s what makes our products essential to policing – our products put safety first, they’re designed to be practical and they work.
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
One of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced as a company has been gathering and sharing data that proves the efficacy of our products. Most of our customers would prefer that their use of our product not be publicized for security reasons. Another obstacle is that we rely almost solely on agency feedback for the improvement of our products, and recording data for every single deployment is a big ask of our customers. And, because agencies aren’t required by federal law to record that data, the statistics that do exist on pursuits in the United States only represent a small portion of all pursuits that occur.
6. What makes your company unique?
The technology was designed to de-escalate risky situations by delivering safer options without creating additional risks. Unlike other pursuit mitigation techniques and technologies, it is a non-invasive tool that does not alter the dynamics of the suspect vehicle.
7. What do your customers like best about your products?
It keeps them safer, allows for safe arrest and is a safe option to balance policy while facilitating safe arrests in as many vehicle-related crimes as possible. Whether an agency has a strict or liberal pursuit policy, StarChase has been proven to increase their arrest rate while reducing risk to themselves and the communities they serve.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Knowing that every tag has the potential to save a life and reduce injury is by far the most rewarding part of helping LEOs in their mission to protect life.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our users about your company?
We started in one state and have grown to 30 states.
10. What’s next for your StarChase?
We are always developing new ways to increase officer and community safety. Our two newest products, AppTrac and SlipStream, are specifically geared toward officer safety.