Council Approves ‘Car Chase Tracker’ Technology for CCPD with More Than $140,000 Price Tag

After the April 29, 2024 meeting that saw the request denied with a tie-vote, the City Council’s May 28 meeting  approved the Culver City Police Department’s request for a contract with StarChase. The agreement will give the CCPD a three year contract with a company that offers a projectile tagging device that would provide real-time location and speed to police.

The three-year contract, approved for “an amount not-to-exceed $143,689” passed in a three to two vote.

Using StarChase, officers can use a foam tracking tag equipped with a magnetic adhesive layer that sticks to the fender of a suspect vehicle.  Once it is attached to the car, the GPS tracking tag can provide exact locations, speeds, and travel directions of vehicles fleeing law enforcement, allowing for the fleeing vehicle to go into “tracking mode,” allowing officers to choose not to pursue. According to the staff report, the device stops broadcasting tracking after eight hours.

In 2023, CCPD saw 55 pursuits, but 40 of those were cancelled; that leaves only 15 pursuits that could have used this technology. The key is that the fleeing car has to be stopped at some point so that officers can apply the tag.

CCPD Chief Jason Sims offered that it would be a “de-escalation tool [in a situation where] something that we know would be dangerous to our officers and the [surrounding] community. .. we would be able to pursue at a safe speed, and make the arrest in a safe way.” 

In the upcoming City budget to be approved by the council for 2024-2025, funding for the Police Department is just over one-third of the city’s General Fund. 

Judith Martin-Straw

Editor’s note – It was originally noted that the CCPD budget was 1/3 of the entire municipal budget. This was incorrect. The CCPD budget is 1/3 of the General Fund, which makes up 52% of the entire budget.

The city’s entire proposed budget for 2024-2025 is $351,449,696.00. The General Fund is $187,300, 004.00. The police budget is 32% of the General Fund. We apologize for the error. 




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