CORDELE, Ga. (AP) — A push of a button will now let drivers know that a police chase is happening close by. Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said he's been working and looking at this technology for about six months.
He gave us a close look at the software that's downloaded in every deputy's car in Crisp County. No one died from a chase in 2018 or this year. Starting Wednesday, people who download the free app, will immediately get alerts.
Hancock believes the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver and stop sticks are good, but they don't apply to every situation and don't always stop criminals.
"We now have equipment in each patrol car that if an officer should get into a high speed pursuit with the mash and the press of a button, they're gonna put out an alert over your cell phone," said Hancock.
Crisp County is the first agency in the state to get this software. The PursuitAlert app lets drivers know when a chase is happening within three miles of their location. The software uses GPS technology to track where you are when the chase is happening.
Tim and Trudy Morgan, the app's creators, said it doesn't use your personal information once the chase is over and it doesn't keep track of your information.
"This technology came about through a tragedy. An innocent young man driving to work, was killed by a fleeing vehicle from one of our patrol cars when I was in law enforcement," said Tim Morgan, founder of PursuitAlert.
Sheriff Hancock was inspired when deputies chased a man that was on drugs. The chase went through Dooly and Crisp County and landed right in the city.
"That chase just really stuck with me because we were in the morning, we were in school traffic, and we were running speeds on 3rd Street which is a two lane road here in Cordele at 70 and 80 miles per hour," said Hancock.
If you download the free app you'll be notified in any participating jurisdiction across the country.
"I know some people say, debate the chase policy but I think you have to chase these people. There are incidents and circumstances where that chase needs to happen and that person needs to be brought to justice," said Hancock.
The sheriff worked with county commissioners and used profits earned by the Crisp County Detention Center Commissary to pay for the software.
The sheriff said they'll also use a new technology called Code 3. They'll be able to press the Code 3 button and it will alert the same citizens that have the pursuit app alert, that a deputy is running to a call that requires them to be above the speed limit. The app was created by a married couple, Tim and Trudy Morgan.