HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The new Pursuit Alert app will alert you when a police chase comes within three miles of you, but it requires police departments to purchase and install new equipment.
The free app is not available to the public, because the developer is still finalizing everything, and needs to pitch the investment to local police departments. A device would need to be installed in each police car. When a police officer initiates a chase, the officer would also have to turn on this device. That would trigger the app to alert you when the chase reaches within three miles of you.
Lt. Raul Denis with Horry County Police Department said no officer ever wants to see an innocent bystander hurt or killed in a police chase. "I think it's a good step in the right direction," said Lt. Denis. "I don't know if that's going to be the answer in taking the danger out of police chases.
Police officers have a lot to balance during a stressful chase. Lt. Denis said departments would have to consider if using the app is asking too much of the officers to handle even more equipment during a chase. And he said there is always the chance the app could do the opposite of protect innocent bystanders.
"Having an app where people know where the police are all the time, it's going to be seriously manipulated by bad people. And that in itself could be a major problem. It could set officers up for ambushes and things of that nature," said Lt. Denis.
Police officers have to pass specific training each year on a technical driving course to simulate a pursuit situation.