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  • Would you pursue?

    Would just like to have some thoughts on your agency's policy regarding pursuits... Would you chase for a tail light out or other equipment violation such as a plate lamp out if they did not stop or would you terminate?

  • #2
    Rural county level department. In that situation if it was the typical low to no traffic on a county highway I would probably close distance and get close enough to get the plate (if I did not have it already) and then disengage. No need to kill someone or myself over some dude who doesn't want a fix it ticket.

    Of course, if the plate comes back as someone wanted for a violent felony, stolen vehicle or perhaps the driver appears to be extremly intoxicated then perhaps a stop stick attempt is warranted depending on the location and traffic level.

    Just my little corner of the world. In my opinon thats a pretty good way to look at things though. If you get the plate, you know where the registered owner lives and you can either mail the citation or pay them a visit a few hours later.
    Cash for clunkers was great for Wisconsin. We traded in Brett Favre for Aaron Rogers.

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    • #3
      I might be getting more cautious as I get older, but I agree 100% with poor college kid. Equipment violations or any traffic violations for that matter are never worth the risk. You live to fight another day.
      "I assume you all have guns and crack."

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      • #4
        IMHO, if a person isn't stopping for police then there must be something horrible they're trying to hide. I think pursuit is always justified. Read the article in the following link and ask yourself what if the drivers didn't stop and a citation was simply mailed to the registered owners address.

        http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issu...-traffic-stop/

        People that traffic drugs across country usually have a bad habit of not fixing broken blinkers or license plate lamps, getting new registration stickers, and following basic traffic laws like not speeding or rolling through stop signs. If a person doesn't stop for a minor infraction, then they are probably up to no good. Liberal anti pursuit policies only help criminals get away with more. Why should any cop get certified EVOC training if they can't ever use it? Discretion is an officers best tool but having a blanket policy against all pursuit works against police and the community.
        Last edited by pierson; 07-08-2010, 07:37 PM.
        Play the hand you're dealt...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pierson View Post
          IMHO, if a person isn't stopping for police then there must be something horrible they're trying to hide. I think pursuit is always justified. Read the article in the following link and ask yourself what if the drivers didn't stop and a citation was simply mailed to the registered owners address.

          http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issu...-traffic-stop/

          People that traffic drugs across country usually have a bad habit of not fixing broken blinkers or license plate lamps, getting new registration stickers, and following basic traffic laws like not speeding or rolling through stop signs. If a person doesn't stop for a minor infraction, then they are probably up to no good. Liberal anti pursuit policies only help criminals get away with more. Why should any cop get certified EVOC training if they can't ever use it?
          Not always true. These people are not stupid. We've had loads where the people have a spare for every light bulb that could go out on their car. That car from AZ/CO/CA/Whatever driving 60 in the 70 with everything working is the one I want...

          With regards to the pursuit question, I would pursue, but that is the way my department works. I also work overnights on the interstate and there is so little traffic that it is never a concern.

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          • #6
            Common sense goes a long way.

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            • #7
              Nope not a chance in heck. Maybe they are running for a good reason. Maybe, they are just suspended. It is not worth killing an innocent citizen because the suspect may be a criminal. Same goes for a stolen vehicle. So many of them are simply loaned vehicles for drugs and really, is the price of that car worth your spouses life, if he or she happens to be driving through an intersection the suspect is driving through? The "bad guys" don't go through EVOC training - let them go and catch them another day. And, I am no flaming liberal.

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              • #8
                So many different things come into play...weather, time of day, traffic, how close is back-up, etc, etc. For a simple traffic violation, if I got the plate, I probably wouldnt. It really just depends on so many circumstances. I recently just had a newborn baby boy and that alone changes how I look at so many different types of calls now.
                ICE SA

                Test: July 2009
                NOR: Sept 2009
                Interview: Nov 2009
                NOR: Dec 30, 2010
                TO: Jan 3, 2011
                Medical: Jan 14, 2011
                Drug Screen: Jan 26, 2011
                Cleared all Pre-Employment Checks Feb 23, 2011
                Met with BI: March 9, 2011
                BI Complete: April 26, 2011

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                • #9
                  To the guy who said that he always thinks pursuits are justified...

                  Find me a court and department that won't hang you out to dry when you are chasing a guy at 90mph and a bystander with the radio on pulls out in front of the pursuit at a T-intersection, is plowed into, and the 24 year old mother and her 7 month infant are dead, all because the left break light was out.

                  Lawyer: "Officer, why were you pursuing the suspect at high speeds for a minor equipment violation that I understand from department records are typically given warnings or fix-it tickets?"

                  You: "Because it is my belief that if someone is running from me, they have something to hide. Probably drugs or other illegal substances"

                  Lawyer: "But you could not tell that from a simple break light being out correct? And as I understand it there were no drugs found in the vehicle you were pursuing correct?"

                  You: "That is correct"

                  Lawyer: "So basically this young mother is dead because you entered into a high speed pursuit simply because you are the police and the suspect, with a non violent minor equipment violation, disrespected your authority by not stopping."

                  You: ...


                  Just my thoughts. I'm as much of a fan as the next guy on going balls out and catching the bad guy, but you need to remember you and the suspect are not the only ones on the road. If someone else does something stupid and gets themselves killed who has nothing to do with anything you damn well better be able to justify why you were endangering the public to such an extent to your department, the media and the families. I'd sure as hell want a better reason then "He had a light out and because of that I thought he might have drugs"
                  Last edited by PoorCollegeKid; 07-09-2010, 02:08 PM.
                  Cash for clunkers was great for Wisconsin. We traded in Brett Favre for Aaron Rogers.

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                  • #10
                    Pursuit for a traffic violation = disciplinary action.

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                    • #11
                      We as officers have to use common sense when it comes to these manners. The Oklahoma trooper who stopped McVeigh after the Oklahoma City bombing, stopped him for no license plates. That is a traffic violation treated the same as a brake light. If you play the "What if's" , what could of happened if McVeigh would of ran from the police. We have a lot of discretion when it comes to these matters.

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                      • #12
                        I completely understand your side Andy, and I used to think that way a few years back before I got started.

                        I would like to point out that we have tons of discretion, but that choice you make just like levels of force used have to be 'objectively reasonable'. Unfortunately (or fortunatley) You can't put what ifs in police reports or use it as testimony in court. Unless you have concrete evidence that you are chasing a violent offender or wanted man, you run the risk of losing your entire career if anyone dies during that pursuit and your only justification is "what ifs" and "probablys". I think WI cop said it best when he stated that we get the EVOC training, bad guys don't.

                        But heck, what do I know? My side has been pretty well stated so I don't want to badger this to death, I just find the topic and its evolution in the past decade immensely interesting.
                        Cash for clunkers was great for Wisconsin. We traded in Brett Favre for Aaron Rogers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pierson View Post
                          I think pursuit is always justified.
                          Publication: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
                          Publish Date: August 5, 1997
                          Ackland, Laura S.(Nee Earle) Age 39 years, Aug. 4, 1997. Beloved wife of Bill. Loving mother of Heather, Bill Jr. and Curtis. Dear grandmother of Aaron Margetta. Dear daughter of Robert and Nancy Earle. Dear daughter-in-law of Jeanette Ackland. Dear sister of Virginia (Jim) Regelin, Vicky (Charles) Seymour, Christine (David) Nicholson and April (David) Conway. Further survived by many other relatives and friends. Visitation Wed. after 5:30 PM at EAST SIDE BAPTIST CHURCH (2409 E.

                          Please think again. My sister in law was killed in Milwaukee by a 19 year old kid during a high speed chase. The kid was a habitual traffic offender with no license. Laura is dead and son Bill Jr. is in an institution, brain damaged and in diapers. It's because of this case, the Milwaukee police dept. decided to rethink their policy on high speed chases on city streets.
                          I'm not faulting you for your reasons or beliefs. Please just think of the ramifications when things like this can be the outcome of a traffic infraction. Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            plate # doesnt mean that the registered owner is driving. how would enforce the violation with a plate #? especially if they don't admit to it?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FireBlade View Post
                              plate # doesnt mean that the registered owner is driving. how would enforce the violation with a plate #? especially if they don't admit to it?
                              Wisconsin has owner's liability for several violations one of which is fleeing. If the owner doesn't cough up a driver, they receive a ticket with a fairly hefty fine.
                              He who makes no mistakes, usually makes nothing at all.

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