PursuitAlert, a warning system to notify the public in real time when an active high-speed police chase is nearby, has announced its launch in South Carolina.
PursuitAlert is a free app that a citizen can download on their cellphone. If a participating agency has an active police pursuit or emergency response within two miles of the user, they will receive a push notification and audible alert on their phone.
Oconee County (SC) Sheriff Mike Crenshaw heads up the first law enforcement agency in the nation to use the PursuitAlert technology. “Today we are happy to announce that we have a way to warn our citizens when someone refuses to stop for a deputy. While we can control the type of pursuits our deputies engage in through policy, we cannot control the individual that refuses to stop for blue lights and sirens. I am confident that PursuitAlert can save lives,” said Crenshaw.
The Department of Justice estimates there are approximately 68,000 police chases annually in the U.S. On average there is one death a day with three times as many seriously injured. The financial burden on society is in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Tim Morgan, president of PursuitAlert, said, “Warning systems are in place and have been very effective for tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and lighting, yet more people are killed each year from police pursuits than all four of these events combined. Our goal is to enhance officer and civilian safety through a heightened sense of awareness for motorists when approaching intersections, even though they may have right of way.”
Citizens are also alerted when the pursuit is out of range. Sheriff Crenshaw believes this new technology will reduce accidents, increase officer and citizen safety, potentially reduce insurance cost, and allow deputies to retrieve items of evidentiary value through PursuitAlert’s additional features.