The Jackson Police Department introduced a new technology Friday identified as a Guardian-HX Handheld GPS Launcher designed by StarChaser. The new tech provides law enforcement with the ability to tag and track a suspect’s vehicle without the need to engage in a high-speed pursuit.
The electronic-based launcher comes equipped with a foregrip laser sight pressure switch calibrated to shoot 30 feet on-target, a 54mm GPS loaded round, a removable and rechargeable battery mag, and a green laser sight.
There have been 25 launchers delivered to the JPD. Deputy Chief Vincent Grizzell said he hopes within the next month to complete certification training for the new device.
Deputy Chief Vincent Grizzell said the tool is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the police force in combating crime and ensuring the safety of the community.
“We see a lot of people injured in car chases. And at the end of the day, we lost a life,” Deputy Grizzell said Friday at the Jackson Police Department Training Academy press conference. “We are here to save lives.”
Car chase leaves two dead:A police chase began after JPD responded to reports of a stolen vehicle. Two suspects dead
Grizzell emphasized that the implementation of this new technology is a significant step forward for the Jackson Police Department in their ongoing efforts to ensure public safety.
Police chases have been a hotbed issue in Jackson for the past few years. After a police chase that started in Richland crossed into Jackson in 2019, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said he wanted to work with other municipalities to find a “diplomatic approach” to ensure police chases would not pose a threat to residents in the future, according to a press statement by the mayor’s officer released on Feb. 13, 2019.
But in July 2022, a police chase that started in Pearl resulted in a U.S. postal worker being killed in Jackson after the suspect involved crashed into the mail carrier’s truck. This renewed the mayor’s call to end police chases over small crimes. A second Pearl police chase crossed into Jackson in less than a month, killing a motorcyclist.
“We are anti-pursuit for minor violations which often spillover into tragic consequences for our community. With the advent of new technology, such as a growing camera surveillance network and tag readers, we can apprehend suspects without endangering the public,” Lumumba said at the time.
Friday’s announcement was made after the promotion of JPD officers and swearing-in ceremony for both new and returning officers.
“Thank you for believing in my leadership and believing in the direction of the Jackson Police Department,” Wade said addressing the promoted officers and sworn-in officers. “I’m very excited for you and very excited for the citizens of Jackson.”
Detective Shannon Doyle, a sworn-in officer, stated she did not plan to become a police officer but instead a lawyer. Doyle stated she did not choose law enforcement, but the career chose her.
“I’m excited to be here, and I’m looking forward to JPD moving forward,” Doyle said.
Melissa Faith Payne, the mayor’s office communications director spoke on behalf of Lumumba, stating Lumumba wanted to extend his thank you to the returning officers and congratulations to the new ones.
“Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your dedication to the city,” Payne continued. “And thank you for pouring into the City of Jackson.”