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Are Pursuits Worth it Anymore?

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  • Are Pursuits Worth it Anymore?

    Tough question for tough times - do we let'm go to fight another day or, do we risk the death of innocents to catch someone wanted only for speeding or a taillight out.

    I know all the arguments - now how about some logical reasoning?

    Pro or con - no one is wrong. It's just a discussion.....

    I say, unless I have personal knowledge or that of another peace officer that the guy I'm behind is wanted for a capitol offense, I'll leave him for seed, file a complaint for a warrant or knock on his door later. What say you?
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  • #2
    We cannot initiate a pursuit for a motor vehicle violation. Hopefully we get a plate and meet them at their door.

    Stolen cars and other crimes are a go..


    Originally posted by 1042 Trooper
    Tough question for tough times - do we let'm go to fight another day or, do we risk the death of innocents to catch someone wanted only for speeding or a taillight out.

    I know all the arguments - now how about some logical reasoning?

    Pro or con - no one is wrong. It's just a discussion.....

    I say, unless I have personal knowledge or that of another peace officer that the guy I'm behind is wanted for a capitol offense, I'll leave him for seed, file a complaint for a warrant or knock on his door later. What say you?

    Comment


    • #3
      In Harris County, Texas...

      WE can chase for anything, but have to call out a pursuit on the radio...Sgt. makes the call to call it off depending on the violation...Traffic, usually gets called off, not worth it there will be another day..

      All Felonies are a go, and I cannot remember one being called off for any reason...
      Misdemeanors usually get called off, especially if it goes on a while, and depending of traffic, time of day, weather, etc...
      Watch the mirrors when approaching the vehicles, passenger side approaches only!

      Be Strong, Be Safe, and Travel East...ALways!!

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      • #4
        Chase em

        I say chase em till the wheels fall off. We have already had a couple of bad experiences where an adjacent jurisdiction had a no-pursuit policy and when we finally catch the toad we're after their first statement is, "I wouldn't have run but I didn't think you were allowed to chase me. If you violated your policy I'm gonna sue!" Thankfully the judge thought that statement was just as cute as we did.

        Comment


        • #5
          We used to use our helicopter when a pursuit was terminated, until a BG crashed after seeing the spotlight on him. He knew he was still being pursued and drove in typical felony fashion; B*lls to the wall. So now when a pursuit is terminated, we give our location and must turn around. We can follow the route later to look for any residual damage, like dead pedestrians or crashed cars along the roadway.
          Jerry
          "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=vsp645]I say chase em till the wheels fall off.[QUOTE]

            agreed. IMO the alternative only encourages disrespect for LEO's. if the no pursuit policy was enacted everywhere, why would anyone stop? because they're a good person? even good people would think twice.

            ..and that getting addresses idea, well, we have 120+ warrants in the office where the addresses provided quickly became no good. besides, even if they were, they would only tie up officers who should be doing other tasks.

            i like the helicopter idea a lot, but it costs something like 10x the amount to keep a helicopter in the air than it does a marked car, so i don't see the localities going for that on a big level (unless they get together and pool thier $$$).

            in any event, i'm a fan of wrecking the violator utilizing a controlled method, at a slower speed (-40), in a safe area (i.e. - exit ramp with guardrails). Ideally, it provides for a quick end, hopefully little damage, and no innocent people hurt. agencies who do not use this type of maneuver and chasing are only unnecessarily prolonging a bad situation all around.

            i've been in several pursuits, including 2 particularly hazardous ones, and regardless of what you think on the subject you need to remaind yourself while you're flying down the road that life isn't a video game. that being said, i am all for pursuing until the chaser's sound judgment weighed upon our policy dictates otherwise... our training and good judgment have been proven... and that is why my agency will chase these losers to the state line (and beyond in certain cases) everytime.

            bless both those guys....
            Last edited by MFP4073; 08-14-2006, 04:25 PM.
            The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1042 Trooper
              Tough question for tough times - do we let'm go to fight another day or, do we risk the death of innocents to catch someone wanted only for speeding or a taillight out.
              In the mid 1990's, CHP published an extensive study on pursuits called An Evaluation of Risk. In it, they determined that the majority of people who ran and were caught, wound up being booked on felony charges that were unrelated to the pursuit. This clearly indicated that most people run because they have committed a much greater offense and are not simply trying to get out of a ticket for a minor traffic violation.

              For those who argued that any chase creates an "unreasonable risk" CHP's study quantified the odds of an innocent citizen being injured or killed in a pursuit and then compared it to the odds of being killed during normal, day to day activity. Turns out the odds of being killed in a chase were 4,000,000 to 1 while the odds of being killed by a drunk driver were only 20,000 to 1. If people think 4,000,000 to 1 odds are unreasonable, then why do they still drive cars on the street when their odds of being killed by a drunk driver are 200 times greater? For that matter, why to they go outdoors in humid weather when the odds of being struck and killed by lightning are (according to the study) 6.5 times greater than being killed in a pursuit?

              To the best of my knowledge, only one pursuit hazard study has been published since the CHP report, and it re enforces the CHP study. I don't know if CHP still has copies of their study available but it is an interesting read if you can get your hands on one.

              There is also another issue to be considered and that is perception. A couple of years ago I attended a media relations class at the academy where one of the courses was taught by a TV reporter. The first thing he asked was how many of us thought pursuits were increasing each year. 100% of the class raised their hands. Then he pulled out the CHP stats that showed they had decreased by 16% over the previous year and had been on a downward spiral for many years. The problem is that TV stations love to preempt regular shows for live pursuit coverage because it draws people and creates viewer loyalty. (For example, here in LA many people know that Channel 9 gives the best pursuit coverage and always go there.) The point is, because the media gives such intense coverage to pursuits, most people think they happen more often, kill more people and are much riskier than they really are. Sadly, this then creates a major PR problem for us.
              Last edited by L-1; 08-14-2006, 04:19 PM.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Chase em all. If they know you won't chase, then more will run.

                If you want evidence of that checkout any of the motorcycle stuntriding forums.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
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                • #9
                  There was an incident here where a thug stole a purse and got in his vehicle and ran from the police. The police terminated the pursuit because it was not a violent felony. A few days later, this same thug steals another purse, gets in his vehicle, and kills a citizen trying to stop the crime. Turns out, he was wanted on parole violations. If the first deparment continued to chase him, he would have been caught and sent to prison. But due to a "no pursuit policy" this thug was let go to continued his crimes and later killed. Now, was the public's safety increased by letting this person go. I think not. When we let someone go, we just let him go to commit the same crime as he ran from.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My department has a NO CHASE policy. While theoretically, we chase for "violent crimes," we really never chase for anything because in the time it would take us to realize the driver is wanted for serious charges, we've already terminated the pursuit pursuant to our policies. That's all fine and dandy for PR purposes, but the flip side is that since everyone knows we don't chase- they all run from us. I've more or less stopped doing traffic stops at night time because 60% of everyone I try to stop just runs from me. What's worse, everytime they run from the po-po and we don't pursue them, it reinforces their behavior.

                    I absolutely think there should be restrictions to pursuits, but to eliminate them entirely is a BAD mistake. Why have laws if they can be broken without repercussion. The bad guys will grow in number once they realize they'll never be caught!

                    Officer.com posted an excellent article on the subject a few months back-Keeping Pursuits in Context I printed it out and passed it out in roll call.
                    Last edited by GvegasDeputy; 08-14-2006, 05:16 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Other depts in our area have the no chase policy. So when they head our way the game is on!

                      You have to make the decision is the violation worth the risk? The WC always monitors the chase and can call it off for a number of reasons.ie speed, time of day, area, traffic conditions etc.

                      If it gets too outrageous, like driving against the flow of traffic on the freeway..common sense dictates the termination.

                      The key is don't drive above your capabilities and don't get tunnel vision. Other than that it's game on!
                      This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Other depts in our area have the no chase policy. So when they head our way the game is on!

                        You have to make the decision is the violation worth the risk? The WC always monitors the chase and can call it off for a number of reasons.ie speed, time of day, area, traffic conditions etc.

                        If it gets too outrageous, like driving against the flow of traffic on the freeway..common sense dictates the termination.

                        The key is don't drive above your capabilities and don't get tunnel vision. Other than that it's game on!

                        And for god sake, roll up your window..so dispatch can hear you and not the siren.
                        This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deputy x 2
                          The key is don't drive above your capabilities and don't get tunnel vision. Other than that it's game on!
                          None of this prevents a motorist pulling out in front of you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SHERIFF
                            None of this prevents a motorist pulling out in front of you.
                            Not biting today....go find someone else!
                            This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SHERIFF
                              None of this prevents a motorist pulling out in front of you.
                              Hmmmm..... Nothing prevents a motorist from pulling out in front of ANYONE at ANYTIME at ANY SPEED, regardless of the conditions. By that logic, we shouldn't drive cars due to the risk involved.
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                              sive iustorum sive iniustorum.
                              Eventus horum non detrectat,
                              sed cum his cotidie vivit.

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