Morris County Expands Tire Deflation Devices to Combat Car Theft

Morris County, New Jersey, expands use of tire deflation devices to 13 police departments to combat rising auto thefts and dangerous pursuits. The $52,007 initiative, funded by forfeiture funds, aims to equip law enforcement with a safe and effective tool to apprehend criminals.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Morris County Expands Tire Deflation Devices to Combat Car Theft

Morris County Expands Tire Deflation Devices to Combat Car Theft

In a strategic move to combat rising auto thefts and curtail dangerous vehicle pursuits, Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, and Morris Plains Police Chief Michael Koroski have announced the expansion of tire deflation devices to 13 municipal police departments across Morris County, New Jersey. The initiative, funded by $52,007 in forfeiture funds from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, aims to equip law enforcement with an effective tool to safely end high-speed chases and apprehend criminals.

Why this matters: The deployment of tire deflation devices in Morris County is a crucial step in addressing the growing concern of auto thefts, which not only affect individuals but also have broader implications for public safety and law enforcement resources. By investing in this technology, Morris County is taking a proactive approach to deter criminal activity and potentially reducing the financial burden of auto thefts on the community.

The tire deflation devices, also known as spike strips, are designed to cause controlled deflation of the tires of fleeing vehicles. The Morris County Prosecutor's Office has purchased 90 Stinger Spike System Model 90200 Trooper Tire Deflation Devices from Federal Signal, which can be stored in patrol cars and quickly deployed to puncture the tires of a target vehicle, reducing its speed and allowing officers to bring pursuits to a safer conclusion.

Prosecutor Carroll emphasized the importance of this collaborative effort, stating, "Law enforcement working together has proven to be the most effective tool against these organized networks of thieves. These expanded resources are part of a multi-faceted strategy to combat auto theft and the growing number of thieves entering homes searching for valuables and key fobs." The deployment of these devices follows guidelines set by the Attorney General's Office to ensure their safe and controlled use.

On May 9, 2024, officers from each participating agency received training from Federal Signal on the proper use of the tire deflation devices. These officers will then train their colleagues at their respective departments, ensuring that all personnel are well-versed in utilizing this technology effectively and safely. The devices will be distributed to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, the Morris County Sheriff's Office, and 13 municipal police departments.

The Boonton Police Department has already seen success with the deployment of tire deflation devices. Officer in Charge Captain Chris Petonak shared, "We have used them approximately four or five times, and we have not only been able to recover vehicles but, more importantly, have reduced the speeds of these pursuits from close to 100 mph down to 30 mph. Each officer in our patrol division carries one of these devices. We have captured over a dozen offenders."

Sheriff Gannon highlighted the broader implications of this initiative, stating, "It's important to recognize that these are crimes that are occurring statewide – whether it's auto theft, robberies, kidnappings, child abductions, or other major crimes. Our goal is to give our officers, who are on the road 24 hours a day, another tool in their toolboxes to safeguard our community." The expansion of tire deflation devices in Morris County is a proactive step towards deterring criminal activity and enhancing public safety.

The deployment of tire deflation devices in Morris County comes at a crucial time, as auto thefts continue to rise across New Jersey. In 2023, the state recorded a 4% increase in vehicle thefts compared to the previous year. By equipping law enforcement with this technology, Morris County aims to buck this trend and make it more difficult for criminals to evade capture. The $52,007 investment in these devices, funded by forfeiture funds, demonstrates the county's commitment to leveraging all available resources to combat crime and protect its residents.

Key Takeaways

  • Morris County, NJ expands tire deflation devices to 13 police departments to combat auto thefts.
  • $52,007 in forfeiture funds used to purchase 90 Stinger Spike System devices.
  • Devices aim to safely end high-speed chases and apprehend criminals.
  • Training provided to officers on proper use of devices, following AG's Office guidelines.
  • Goal is to deter criminal activity, reduce auto thefts, and enhance public safety.