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As Louisiana grapples with deadly police chases, sheriff calls new app a 'lifesaver'
BATON ROUGE - Police chases have killed five people in the capital area this year, including two members of law enforcement.
As the Louisiana legislature continues to debate the best ways to handle these chases, states like Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have some counties using the Digital Siren app.
The app is free, and law enforcement would be able to send notifications to drivers' phones, warning them a chase is going on in their area.
"We want them to be looking out for that fleeing vehicle, whatever the situation might be," said Tim Morgan, a former high ranking sheriff's deputy in South Carolina and the creator of Digital Siren.
Mike Crenshaw is the sheriff in Oconee County South Carolina. His jurisdiction has used Digital Siren for about five years, and he calls it a "lifesaver."
"We do feel we are keeping citizens safer and keeping them alert when we unfortunately have to pursue someone," Crenshaw said.
Some question whether the app could inadvertently serve as another unintended distraction. But Crenshaw says it's not a concern since the driver won't even have to look at their phone to get an alert.
"This is not a digital alert, it is an audible alert. So it's like a voice coming over your phone telling you that you are in the area of a high-speed pursuit," Crenshaw explained.
Morgan, the app's creator, says he presented it to BRPD. We've asked the department if it's considered adopting the app but have not heard back.
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