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  • PIT maneuver

    I was curious to know which agencies here teach officers/deputies how to perform the PIT maneuver and how many agencies actually let their officers do it. It seems the rest of the country does it but they are few and far between here. I'm certified but my agency says no way.
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    " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

  • #2
    Same here, at minimum, I know of one Sergeant within my agency who was sent to the course, but he is not allowed to use it or teach it. Ya, it's a big no-no here. If it's a deadly force situation though, I've mentally told myself that the offender would get to meet the "Go Rhino" label on the crossbar of my pushbumper.

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    • #3
      Dallas not only says no on PIT, but they also have a very tight chase policy.
      “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

      "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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      • #4
        I got a question for some, and it deals with ramming and using some good ol' horse sense. Our policy forbids pursuing on the wrong side of a road. We can run parallel to the offender, but that's it. I've always thought, a vehicle driving down the wrong side of the highway is deadly force, why can't we ram it off of the roadway before it kills an innocent family? Deadly force is deadly force, whether a guy is shooting a gun at others, or driving a bullet at 70-miles per hour down the wrong side of the highway while intoxicated. I don't know personally how I would feel if I was abiding by policy and I see this drunk driver hit a family head on and kills them. That's something that I would have to live the rest of my life with... What would you do?

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        • #5
          We teach it and use it! Our pursuit policy is pretty lax compared to our neighboring agencies. Changes in pursuit policy now make it possible to perform the PIT technique before the pursuit begins and without supervisory approval.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wade95 View Post
            We teach it and use it! Our pursuit policy is pretty lax compared to our neighboring agencies. Changes in pursuit policy now make it possible to perform the PIT technique before the pursuit begins and without supervisory approval.
            Reminds me of the old adage, "A stitch in time saves nine."

            My opinion may not matter since I am not yet an officer, but it baffles me why an extensively tested and useful tool like the PIT maneuver is widely forbidden. I understand the risks, but come on, as iamacop touched on, what are the risks of NOT stopping the pursuit? The more I read about restrictions placed on officers the more I feel like the cops who are trying to keep people safe are being castrated when it comes to doing their job.

            /RANT

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CenTex View Post
              Reminds me of the old adage, "A stitch in time saves nine."

              My opinion may not matter since I am not yet an officer, but it baffles me why an extensively tested and useful tool like the PIT maneuver is widely forbidden. I understand the risks, but come on, as iamacop touched on, what are the risks of NOT stopping the pursuit? The more I read about restrictions placed on officers the more I feel like the cops who are trying to keep people safe are being castrated when it comes to doing their job.

              /RANT
              Welcome to our world... It'll only get worse once you get the badge. Of course, it also depends on your department. You really have some good ones out there who don't give in to the politics, and others, well are ran by politicians...

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              • #8
                We used to be able to ask to take them out.....now if you ask them that, youll be told no....so no, NO PIT
                Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                • #9
                  Pit

                  San Marcos P.D. has a good PIT policy. If the pursuit enters the city streets (off the freeway) they start pitting imediately. Yet, they can only pursue for Class B's and above. That's a whole other conversation. Its funny you all brought this up. I just finalized a year long administrative process where I used the PIT in a pursuit. I was hammered by the chain all the way up (3 days unpaid leave and 6 months probation). Appealed to the Division Chief...same crap. Then I appealed to our new Director...exonerated. Our new Director seems pretty cool thus far. Things are really looking up at DPS.

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                  • #10
                    I think a lot of reluctance to authorize use of the PIT maneuver comes from an inability to defend it in court should a civil suit arise.

                    When I mean an inability to defend it, I don't mean it's indefensible. I mean that most law enforcement agencies in the US are small and lack someone on their staff who is knowledgeable and articulate enough in pursuit intervention techniques, deadly force, and all the scientific hoo haa that's involved in banging two cars against each other to result in the desired outcome without hurting innocent people, to intelligently debate the matter on the stand with some silver tongued trial lawyer who is suing your department, or to counter whatever his expert has testified to.

                    Now your department representative can say you do it because the Highway Patrol does it, but the attorney suing you is only going to ask, "Well, if the Highway Patrol jumped off a bridge, would your department do that too?"

                    In addition, with PIT, it's not just a matter of striking the vehicle. There are a lot of procedures and safeguards that need to be in place that most people are not aware of (and which I will not go into here because this is a public forum). Failure to establish and strictly follow those procedures not only opens the department up to civil liability, but it needlessly places the lives of the officers and public in danger.

                    The same logic applies to just about any controversial procedure, weapon or piece of equipment . It doesn't matter if you know it's right in your heart. Unless someone in authority on your department is knowledgeable enough to articulately debate it and defend against it in court, it's probably not going to happen in you agency. Remember, there is nothing more frightening to law enforcement than having to take responsibility for something you don't know how to properly and thoroughly defend.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      I was in that pursuit on Friday, and I don't know if the agency that started the PIT was trained in it but I tell you right now he took some serious chances especially when he got sideways in that mud right in front of me and was way out of control.

                      Hindsight is always 20/20 but if they would have fed me the info earlier about him almost running an officer down, that pursuit would have ended at milepost 265 southbound on I-45 before it made it down and half way back out of Navarro county.

                      Bet you guys never heard about the so-called explosives on board either did you?
                      GySgt USMC(Retired)

                      Once Marine, Always Marine

                      Courtesy Service Protection.............any questions?

                      Don't be a 99 on my route

                      Late at night a chill in the air, black and whites were everywhere, because nothing in this world is free, a Trooper's life was made for me.

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                      • #12
                        All in all, nobody was hurt and the guy was caught. You're gonna catch heat from society, and your administration, just face it, it's part of the job. It's a no-win situation. You could have pitted him, and let's say one of the wheels dug into the soggy creek there and the truck rolled, killing the driver. People would say that you used unreasonable methods to seize that individual, therefore violating his fourth amendment right. Let's say you just let him go because he only stole gas, but he ends up killing somebody because he thought you were still chasing him and there were no emergency vehicles to warn the public. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, but until you are placed in that situation, you should not criticize. Discuss, sure, but not criticize.

                        Hell, I was like in Chesty's situation, well sort of. I worked overtime for a day squad and was bull shidding in the parking lot with a couple of the guys. A patrol unit calls a vehicle pursuit literally three blocks away from the station. It was so close, you could hear the sirens comin. The secondary unit called that he was coming from a long ways off, so me and my buddy jumped in a car and took off. He was driving and I was the passenger.

                        To make a long story short, my buddy attempted to defy the laws of physics, and we smacked a pole. Airbags deployed, etc. We ended up making up a trip to the hospital in the back of an ambulance.

                        I figured we would take our lickings from the administration. I was shocked that our incident was referred to internal affairs, for policy violations. Some of the factors included were getting involved while officially off-duty. I thought, WTF? The pursuit was coming right past us. What are we supposed to do, wave at them as they passed? The primary officer ended up catching the guy (DWI.) Eventhough we were doing the right thing, we were dragged through an internal affairs investigation. Would I do the same thing again? Hell yeah. I will never turn my head around for an officer needing a help. I'm not gonna let an officer get in a vehicle pursuit by himself.

                        The moral of this long rant? It's called it's usually a no-win situation. Be glad that nobody was hurt, take your lickings, and move on.
                        Last edited by iamacop; 10-11-2009, 09:10 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                          I think a lot of reluctance to authorize use of the PIT maneuver comes from an inability to defend it in court should a civil suit arise.
                          This was already argued and the courts sided with us....

                          http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n2743124.shtml

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chesty View Post
                            San Marcos P.D. has a good PIT policy. If the pursuit enters the city streets (off the freeway) they start pitting imediately. Yet, they can only pursue for Class B's and above. That's a whole other conversation. Its funny you all brought this up. I just finalized a year long administrative process where I used the PIT in a pursuit. I was hammered by the chain all the way up (3 days unpaid leave and 6 months probation). Appealed to the Division Chief...same crap. Then I appealed to our new Director...exonerated. Our new Director seems pretty cool thus far. Things are really looking up at DPS.
                            Not that's funny! You guys are allowed to shoot tires off of moving vehicles but are not allowed to PIT?!?!?! I'm glad to hear your new director used common sense about your situation.

                            We can't PIT! We use spike strips and wait for the vehicle to stop on their own accord or by other means. Never had one go two hours after being spiked! Built Ford tough has new meaning! Hahahaha I had a Cadi go about 15 miles on two rims before the Cadi said, "NO MAS!"

                            Liabilty I believe is the main reason we don't do it.
                            Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl View Post
                              I was in that pursuit on Friday, and I don't know if the agency that started the PIT was trained in it but I tell you right now he took some serious chances especially when he got sideways in that mud right in front of me and was way out of control.

                              Hindsight is always 20/20 but if they would have fed me the info earlier about him almost running an officer down, that pursuit would have ended at milepost 265 southbound on I-45 before it made it down and half way back out of Navarro county.

                              Bet you guys never heard about the so-called explosives on board either did you?
                              Carl, you talking about that one that started in Van Alstyne arent you. I heard it went to Ellis county and thought you might have got involved. Then I saw the news and saw a Trooper come up after two other Officers and said I bet thats him.Were you wearing a rain coat or something?

                              Comment

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