Sunday, February 05, 2006

Just Use the Tractor Beam

I read in the Los Angeles Times where the police department is going to start using new technology to thwart those who flee.

“…Chief William Bratton unveiled on Thursday a new and decidedly strange weapon in the Los Angeles Police Department's effort to halt high-speed pursuits.

It is an air-propelled miniature dart equipped with a Global Positioning System.

Once fired from a patrol car, it sticks to a fleeing motorist's vehicle and sends back a radio signal to police.”

That’s all well and good; but I can’t remember booking an SUV into the jail house for evading arrest; the driver is the one breaking the law, not the vehicle. Once the bad guy gets out on foot and disappears into the “hood” all you have left is a vehicle with a dart sticking out of the fender. I can see how that is going to help, oh yea, lots of help. Why not shoot the dart into the suspect instead, kill two birds with one…:, is that a bad analogy?

I can’t understand why a police department located so close to Hollywood wouldn’t tap into the vast amounts of technology there for the taking. For years Captain Kirk of the Star Ship Enterprise has had the tractor beam at his disposal. Of course the use of a tractor beam isn’t without risk when the fleeing suspect continues to engage full thrusters against all common sense causing his engines to over heat and eventually implode as witnessed by Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

I joke about this and yet when I was in the Army there was a Major ______, name omitted out of respect for the mentally insane, who read Dick Tracy every morning because he believed that it was true. Major _____ wanted to be on top of the new technology; constantly placing orders for two way wrist communicators for all his undercover troops and wondering why the requests always went unfilled. He came to the conclusion that he was in a back area, not in the heat of battle, that his unit lacked the necessary status for such technologically advanced crime fighting equipment. Major _____ believed there were also daily trips by Moon Maid in a special space vehicle to a city located on the Moon.

“Give me all you have Scotty.”

“She’s already over heating, Cap’in; if we keep this up much longer our television rating will fall through the floor and us along with it.”

“That’s okay, nobody’s watching us today anyway. Did you get my bet down on the Super Bowl game; Steelers by a touchdown?”

“Aye, Sir, and Tostitos for everyone with some of that Romulan Ale at half time?”

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