TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Smith County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to put an end to high-speed chases using a device new to the department.
The sheriff’s office is testing out Stop Sticks.
”We have people that unfortunately are very evil and bad to society that would in a heartbeat do anyone of our family or anybody else out there would do them harm and wouldn’t think twice about it. Those people we need to stop,” Captain Jeremy Black says.
The Stop Stick is lightweight, can be deployed in seconds and is easy to use.
“If a tire runs over the Stop Stick, it will be deflated. It’s just a matter of how much of the tire gets it and when. The ideal situation is be able to hit all four tires,” Black explains.
The Stop Stick destroys tires with stainless steel spikes that are nearly two inches long, but also aims to save lives. Previously, the sheriff’s office would rely on Tyler Police Department and Department of Public Safety and their tire spiking tools if a high-speed chase occurred.
“To be able to have these, the more of these Stop Sticks that are out there, regardless of the agency, the faster can we keep the public safer and the faster we can bring these pursuits to a halt,” Black says.
Deputy Edgar Nieto was one of the several deputy’s participating in a training this week with the 12-foot stop sticks.
“It can prevent a lot more accidents in the course of a pursuit. It can even save the suspect’s life or even other lives,” Nieto says.
Nieto says his goal is to stop the suspect as quickly as possible, but sometimes that doesn’t come easy.
“Last year when I was in that pursuit, you’re going a 100 mph so yeah the adrenaline rush is very high and you’re very in a way excited, but in a way you have to be cautious about everything,” Nieto says.
Deputies stood ready as they quickly threw out the training strips. The chase vehicle sped over the spikes, and then deputies jerked back the strips to get them off the road before a patrol car could roll them over.
“It’s important for the guys, men and women out there, to be as focused and as trained as they possibly can be so whenever is does happen, they’re ready for it,” explains Cpt. Black.
All of the deputies' vehicles at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office will be equipped with the Stop Sticks, hopefully putting a quicker end to any future high-speed chases.