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Friday, May 27, 2016
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St. Pete police to test projectiles to track fleeing cars

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s a projectile that’s part goo, part GPS transmitter.

When it’s fired from a small cannon installed in the grill of a police squad car, it can stick to the rear end of a suspect’s car during a pursuit, allowing the officer to break off the chase.

That’s the theory, anyway.

On Friday, St. Petersburg police unveiled the StarChase system at Tropicana Field. Only a handful of cruisers will have the cannons installed as part of a small pilot program. All the department has to pay for — at least for the time being — are the projectiles, which run about $250 apiece, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz. After the system is tested for six months, administrators will decide whether to install the system in more police vehicles.