St. Clair Police Department Wins Stop Stick® Video of the year

July 30, 2021

By: Stop Stick

Category: Customer Stories

Stop Stick® 2020 Video of the Year.

A video from St. Clair Police Department showing Detective Thomas Andrews and Sargent Lane Short performing a unique double deployment of the Stop Stick® device to bring a safe end to a pursuit; which involved a suspected kidnapper and multiple other law enforcement agencies.

The video was selected for the top honor because of the safe and effective use of Stop Stick; as well as the unique and effective use of the double deployment method – which brought a swift end to a joint law enforcement effort to help recover a kidnapped victim.

The victim was in the car with the suspected kidnapper.

The pursuit began in Washington County, Missouri when sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop a stolen vehicle involved in a kidnapping. The suspect behind the wheel had ignored the deputy’s attempts to stop the vehicle, forcing them to give chase.

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle northbound, calling for any available agencies to assist by deploying Stop Stick devices. At this time, St. Clair Police Officers, Detective Thomas Andrews, and Sargent Lane Short both jumped into action. Stop Sticks were deployed by both Officers and successfully brought an end to the pursuit; allowing Officers to get the individual suspected of kidnapping into custody.

A flawless deployment led to a safe resolution.

As the suspect made their way towards highway 30, Chief Michael Wirt of the St. Clair Police Department instructed his officers to set up their Stop Stick devices on both sides of the road – near the city limits of St. Clair.

Chief Wirt explains that he chose that location because of its strategic significance in providing a choke point, allowing them to control traffic and force the suspect to slow down. This key piece of planning proved to be a catalyst for success.

As the pursuit closed in on their positions, Detective Andrews and Sargent Short – standing on opposite sides of the roadway – began to pull their Stop Sticks across the road, covering both lanes; leaving nowhere else for the suspect’s vehicle to go. The suspect attempted to avoid one of the deployed Stop Stick devices by crossing into oncoming traffic, only to run over the second set at approximately 30-40mph, flattening all 4 tires. This brought the entire pursuit to a safe conclusion all within a half-mile after hitting the Stop Stick. The suspect was taken into custody and the victim was safely recovered without incident.

Training and communication lead to success.

Chief Wirt explained this was both officers’ first deployment with Stop Stick and was the department’s first time using the double deployment method. “It worked flawlessly,” Chief Wirt said, both Officer Andrews and Lane train regularly with Stop Stick which is why the deployment was so successful. The officers followed their training and made sure they had adequate time to set up and get to cover before the pursuit reached their location. They communicated with the other departments involved in the pursuit and calmly deployed their Stop Stick devices in unison, ensuring the target vehicle came into contact with their deployed Stop Sticks.