The long arm of the law just got a bit longer and more technically advanced, thanks to the invention of the Grappler Police Bumper, a new device that allows police to immobilize suspects’ vehicles during high-speed pursuits.

In a maneuver somewhat reminiscent of a frog extending its tongue to catch a fly, the Grappler lets police officers deploy a foldable tubular-steel arm, which spreads a nylon-strap horizontally against the back wheel of the fugitive’s vehicle in order to “capture” their suspect.

The nylon strap then wraps around the wheel, causing it to lock before bringing the vehicle to a halt.

In the event that the maneuver is made at high speed, police can web the wheel without tethering the vehicle to their police cruiser—but for lower-speed applications or for use on vehicles pulling trailers, police can keep their vehicle tethered to the suspect’s vehicle, such that they can use their brakes to assist in bringing the fugitive to a stop, reports Jalopnik.

If police need to quickly withdraw from a suspect’s vehicle, they can detach their pursuit vehicle from the captured vehicle at the touch of a button, thereby allowing them to escape an unsafe, escalating situation.

The immobilization device can be mounted in such a fashion that it remains concealed until in use, thus keeping unmarked police vehicles “under the radar.”

The Grappler Police Bumper offers an alternative to the bumper-mounted spike strip known as MobileSpike reported on earlier this year.

American police have long relied on the PIT maneuver – that’s the Precision Immobilization Technique, wherein police nudge a fugitive’s vehicle into a spin – to bring protracted car chases to an end, but this technique puts both the officer, the fugitive and the public at great risk.

By comparison, the Grappler Police Bumper is ostensibly a much safer option.

It is unknown if any Canadian police departments are considering this device for their fleets.

(Stock Enterprises via Jalopnik)