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Pursuit Question


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  • Pursuit Question

    Recently at my co-op placement with the Niagara Regional Police, I watched a video that instructed when it is safe to pursue a suspect in a car chase and the main point was that you should not follow if there is a significant risk of endangering the public. Now I am not sure if I have my facts mixed up, or if this is just an Ontario point of view but how can this be so if there are so many of those filmed car chases (most ending in collisions during rush hour etc...) on television? This is the video that sparked my question:

    Violent Crash

    - A bus load full of children.
    - Children on a cross walk.
    - The person in the white truck who got hit.

    Seems pretty dangerous to me.
    Thanks in advance.

    -- Mike
    --"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
    --"Run XC"

  • #2
    1) All pursuits are dangerous
    2) Each department will have a set of guidlines saying when you can and when you can't pursue (hopefully)
    3) If the department has guidelines it will also have a lengthy list of things to keep in mind during the pursuit which can/should trigger stopping the pursuit
    4) Every policy I have read (about 6) also said no discipline will be taken for not pursuing or breaking the pursuit off IRREGARDLESS OF THE REASON.

    I have been in several and was involved in one a few months back that cost 2 good people and 2 dirtbags their lives. It was the worst accident I have ever seen in my career (15 years). I still will chase if need be, but, is the risk worth it?
    A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!


    • #3
      Like ray said every chase is dangerous. You just have to weigh the importants of catching the bad guy against the risk of inocent people getting hurt. If your chasing for a traffic violation and putting people in danger its not worth the risk. I the person your chasing is wanted for killing a cop it would be worth the risk.

      My dept. has very strict guidlines for chases and most Sgts wont let them continue if its during peak traffic hours unless its a major criminal being chased..
      The views I share are my own, and do not represent the opinions of my employing agency.


      • #4
        I've had a pursuit last about 70 miles and into the next county.... I've had a pursuit cancelled by the watch commander after 5 minutes... and I've called off my own pursuits because of the conditions. Every pursuit is dangerous and each one is treated and evaluated differently. Each department and area is going to have their own specific pursuit policies....some may be strict and some may be liberal.


        • #5
          Pursuit Question

          Let's start with the fact that any pursuit has an element of danger. There are those in "The Perfect World Society" who would eliminate any pursuit for that reason. Certainly, police agencies should have pursuit policies, but policies that prohibit pursuits for any reason are worse than useless. The Alabama Dept of Public Safety has a pursuit policy that makes sense to me. A Trooper pretty well determines whether or not a pursuit will continue. He takes into account, the prevailing road and weather conditions, other traffic present, speed, etc. A Supervisor may terminate a pursuit, as well as the pursuing Trooper. Should the pursuing Trooper elect to terminate the pursuit, the Supervisor cannot overule that decision. This is not a perfect policy, but certainly one that has worked for my department for many years.


          • #6
            My views toward pursuits have changed 180% since I first came on the job.

            Bottom line, I will no longer pursue unless the bad guy hurt a cop or a child. Okay, maybe a couple more crimes, but you get my point.

            Too many people die in pursuits. They are just not worth it for minor offenses.
            In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.
            -Winston Churchill


            • #7
              Violent felonies (murder, sexual battery) are pretty much all we can chase for. You learn quickly that a minor traffic violation is not worth the chase. Too many variables (traffic, pedestrians, red lights, stop signs) to chase for anything minor. Forget about the violator, we're putting ourselves in danger.

              A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

              It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.


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