Magazine article National Defense

DHS Testing 'Squid' to Halt Border-Jumping Vehicles

Magazine article National Defense

DHS Testing 'Squid' to Halt Border-Jumping Vehicles

Article excerpt

* The Department of Homeland Security is funding technology aimed at stopping drug runners and migrants from speeding through border checkpoints.

The department is testing the Safe Quick Undercarriage Immobilization Device, or SQUID, to stop rogue drivers in their tracks. The L5-foot-wide disc is a portable trap that can be planted in roads near border crossings. Once deployed, a mass of tentacles springs out and ensnares a vehicle's axle, causing it to suddenly halt

Such vehicles have in the past hit and killed US. border agents, said Mark Kaczmarek, DHS program manager of the border and maritime security division at the science and technology directorate.

Stopping vehicles is fraught with danger. Authorities can fire at a fugitive's tires, but hostages or children in the car could be harmed. Barriers or spikes can cause runaway drivers to swerve into other vehicles.

While existing elastic traps can halt a compact car, they can't stop a sport utility vehicle, DHS noted in a statement The SQUID, however, employs straps made of Kevlar, the same material used in bullet-proof vests, Kaczmarek said. …

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