Additional Spending for More Police Tech Ends with Council Stalemate

The Culver City Council meeting on April 29, 2024 did not vote to approve a Culver City Police Department request for StarChase, a “pursuit mitigation technology.” The two to two vote reflected both support for the police and a hesitation to add further expenses to the budget. Chief Jason Sims alleged the new tech would support the department with car chase incidents, enhancing public safety by “seeking [new technological] strategies in the inherent dangers of vehicle pursuits.” 

The motion to approve the three-year contract failed with Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Council Member Freddy Puza both voting against, and Vice Mayor Dan O’Brien and Council Member Albert Vera voting in favor. The absence of Council member Goran Eriksson was noted but the reason for his being unable to attend was not offered. 

While the proposal from StarChase offered information on the required training to operate the equipment, safety considerations and restrictions on the data collected, the addition of another layer of technology after the recent installation of license-plate readers throughout the city may have looked like a redundant expense. Information from the city offered that “the technology is currently used by law enforcement agencies in 30 other states nationwide.” No other cities in Los Angeles County are listed as using this technology. 

While Sims offered that there had been an increase in CCPD’s number of vehicle pursuits in 2023, the data on 55 ‘pursuits’ also noted that 40 of them were cancelled. 

Judith Martin-Straw




The Actors' Gang