The introduction of police spike strips has completely transformed the process of capturing a culprit in the fleeing vehicle. These metal strips have made it easier for police personnel to keep themselves away from harm’s way while taking care of the fleeing vehicle. The tire deflation system has stood the test of time and has seen a fair share of improvements along the way. With the great benefits and safety it brings along with them, these police spike strips have become a go-to piece of equipment during any high-speed chase.
The history of spike strips
The tire spike strips are a modern take on an ancient idea dated back thousands of years ago. In those days, metal spikes were used to lodge in the feet of the soldiers and horses. They were called Caltrops and can be chartered back to 300 B.C. The manual modern spike strips that are used today were actually patented in the year 1940. Before that, heavy barriers were used to stop the fleeing vehicle. However, it was not much effective as setting up a barrier required a decent amount of time which law enforcement personnel generally lack during a high-speed chase. At the same time, it possessed a certain level of risk for each and every individual involved in the chase.
The introduction of the manual spike strips around the 1940s’ completely transformed the whole high-speed chasing scene and made it easier for police personnel to take control of the situation as soon as possible. Therefore, it does not take much time for all the law enforcement agencies to put it into use once it comes into existence. However, the older version of the tire deflation system was not as good as the one that is used today. It was still a great step up from setting up a barricade’s complicated and risky procedure.
An updated version that is used even today was introduced in the year 1990. The modern version of spike strips was developed by Donald Kilgrow and a design engineer Mel Pederson. The spike strips that they developed are close to what police agencies use today. The police spike strips have constantly been getting modified and getting better as time goes on. Even the automatic deployable spike strips were patented in the year 2006 and have been highly successful in their ventures. It is getting lighter, safer, and more effective, which has made them a perfect asset in the arsenal of any law enforcement agent.
Modern spike strips
With the passage of time, the modern spike strips have seen a fair share of improvement. They have become much more capable and are highly effective than their predecessors. Let us look at some of the advantages modern police spike systems have over their predecessors.
The modern spike strips weigh less than older spikes and are easy to carry around. They are generally carried on a briefcase specially designed for the spike strips, which adds up to the convenience for the police officers.
#2- Easy to deploy and retract
The modern spike strips are easy to deploy and retract. Nowadays, there are a variety of spike strips available out there. Their modernized design makes it easier to deploy the strips as quickly as possible without leaving any room for error. The manual version generally comes with a rope to the side of the strap to quickly retract the spike as soon as the targeted vehicle runs over them. The automatically deployable spike strips, on the other hand, have even upped the game. It has made the whole process even more, safer for the police officers.
#3- Compact design
Another benefit the modern spike strips have over the older ones is the change in design. Earlier the spike strips used to come in a single strip; however, the advanced one comes with various smaller segments, which makes it easy to deploy and retract. Furthermore, it takes less space and adds up to the convenience of the law enforcement personnel.
From the time it was introduced to law enforcement agencies, tire deflation systems have been a great asset for them. With the passage of time, the drawbacks these devices had were tweaked, making them a perfect asset for any police officer indulged in a high-speed chase.