Pursuit Alert


March 2016

Police chase app alert drivers nearby high speed pursuits

More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed and tens of thousands have been injured in police car chases over the past 35 years, research says.
Now a former sheriff has created PursuitAlert, which aims to help the public avoid police chases by alerting drivers within a three-mile radius.The moment an officer begins to chase down a subject, they turn on a device in their cruiser and it will send an alert to the app. Tim Morgan, former Pickens County Assistant Sheriff in South Carolina, and Trish Morgan worked on the technology with Pickens Innovation following the death of a man killed during an incident, reports WYFF4.

Brent Winchester was traveling to work in 2008 when a car being chased by police lost control and spun into oncoming traffic – Winchester was killed in the accident.
‘I was in law enforcement for 37 years and one of the most difficult incidents I had to deal with was the death of an innocent victim in a high-speed police pursuit,’ Morgan told 

After retiring from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan started designing PursuitAlert. Police officers simply flip the switch on the device and a push alter will be sent out to PursuitAlert app owners in the vicinity of the chase. Another notification will be sent out the chase is no longer a threat such as ‘proceed with caution’. ‘We’re sending a notification out to all the sheriff’s in the nation that new technology is on the market,’ said Morgan. 

The PursuitAlert technology will cost around $350 for each police car, but Morgan hopes the free app will be out in the next few months –as it is currently pending federal approval.
He also hopes one day the technology will be automatically installed in smartphones, similar to amber alert and weather alerts..Bystanders and passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all those killed in police pursuits from 1979 to 2013, reports USA Today. ‘A pursuit is probably the most unique and dangerous job law enforcement can do,’ said Tulsa Police Maj. Travis Yates, who runs a national pursuit-training academy.

The Justice Department referred to pursuits as ‘the most dangerous of all ordinary police activities in 1990 and emphasized the agencies needed to form different procedures when it came to chasing suspects.
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