New “Grappler” Rig Stops Police Pursuits
Could this end the L.A.-style pursuits?by Mark McNabb, on
Cops have been chasing bad guys for nearly all of history. Nabbing the perp got exponentially harder when cars came along in the 20th century. However, the reign of mechanized fleeing might be coming to an end. Check out the “Grappler,” a device that deploys from a police car and entraps the rear wheel of the get-away car, puncturing the tire and locking up the wheel via heavy-duty straps. A tether secures the fleeing vehicle to the police car, completely stopping any chance of escape.
The Grappler was invented by Leonard Stock, an Arizona man reportedly tired of innocent people dying in high-speed police chases. Stock devoted eight years to developing the device and is now marketing the Grappler to police agencies across the nation.
“The options right now are getting in front of a suspect vehicle to deploy tire spikes or using the pit maneuver or some type of smash up derby style process to stop a vehicle and the officer many times is pinned against a suspect vehicle,” Stock told FOX10. "Being able to end a pursuit in a much more controlled fashion has huge value for law enforcement and for the safety of the community as a whole."
The Grappler could also drastically cut down on damage to police cars, which would help pay for the initial cost of the Grappler system. Pricing hasn’t been announced, however.
The system can be operated in two different ways. First, the tether can be used to help slow the fleeing vehicle, which is especially helpful on front-wheel drive cars. The Grappler can also be disconnected from the police car, remotely from inside the cab. This would be ideal if a suspect abandons the disabled vehicle and runs on foot. The pursuing officer can simply detach and drive away.
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Why It Matters
The Grappler system appears to be a really clever invention with a well-executed prototype. The demonstration videos show the system doing a great job at stopping a fleeing vehicle without sending it into an uncontrollable spin, say like the common PIT maneuver. This will undoubtedly cut down on collateral damage and possible injuries or death to the suspect.
Only time will tell if the Grappler system will be a widespread tool used by police, or just another neat idea that didn’t catch on. We’re hoping for the former.
Hat tip to Blue Lives Matter
Source: Stock Enterprises