OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. —
Residents in Oconee County can now be alerted when they are in an area of eminent danger due a high-speed chase.
Sheriff Mike Crenshaw announced Tuesday that the county is the first law enforcement agency in the world to use the PursuitAlert technology.
(The video above is a demonstration on how the app works provided by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office.)
“I was contacted about two years ago by PursuitAlert, who shared with me the development of this warning system and asked our assistance in testing," Crenshaw said. "We began beta testing to confirm it would work in our rural county."
PursuitAlert is a free app. If a citizen is within a 2-mile radius of an active police pursuit in or emergency response in Oconee County they will receive a push notification and audible alert on their phone.
"Our hope is motorist will have a heighten sense of awareness when approaching the next intersection even though they may have right of way," Crenshaw said. "Citizens are also alerted when the pursuit is out of range."
Crenshaw said he believes this new technology will reduce accidents, increase officer safety, increase citizen safety, potentially reduce insurance cost, and allow deputies to retrieve items of evidentiary value.
PursuitAlert has additional benefits to law enforcement officers, such as, when offenders throw illegal drugs or other evidence out a vehicle window during a pursuit. Officers can now use a “drop pin” feature on the equipment in their patrol vehicle to use GPS coordinates to find the exact location where the evidence was discarded.