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In high-speed chases, untrained police risk losing civil immunity


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  • In high-speed chases, untrained police risk losing civil immunity

    SACRAMENTO -- Police departments and their officers -- who lack good car chase policies and annual training -- must meet a July 1 deadline to do so or lose immunity to civil lawsuits worth untold millions of dollars, the state is warning.
    Many departments throughout the Bay Area and across California are going to miss the deadline, according to sources. The state has issued an alert as a reminder of the landmark 2005 legislation that addressed deadly car chases.

    The 2005 measure was triggered by critics' assertions that to cops in some areas, fleeing cars are like fumbled footballs in the Super Bowl -- everyone wants in on the action. Radios crackle, adrenaline pumps, lights flash and sirens go on.

    In the latest annual government reporting period, California pursuits killed 32 people and injured 1,200 -- many of them innocent.

    The nearly-forgotten SB719, by Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles -- which won unanimous backing by lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- also increased penalties for fleeing suspects, provided for public education campaigns and required police reporting on chases.

    "For the last 20 years, California has led the nation in the number of deaths resulting from high-speed vehicle chases," Romero said. "After years of work on this issue, we found a way to put some teeth into California law and save innocent lives, while still enabling cops to do their job."

    Under her law, everyone from the chief to the newest rookie has to go through the special class or lose government immunity from civil prosecution, both for their department and as an individual

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  • #2
    I sure hope nobody misses that deadline.
    -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.



    • #3
      I thought it was common sense. Putting someone on the street that has a likelihood of pursuing a violator who has no experience in aggressive/police driving is a ticking timebomb. Even with all the training in the world, there are those that still pursue in violation of agency policy or state laws. They are open to civil suits anyway.

      I think it's getting better.
      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


      • #4
        Its not a horrible idea, annual training....but I gasp just trying to think of the cost for larger dpts to do that. That type of training will tear up cars, burn up gas, etc etc....

        Im not sure how any dpt that hasn't been preparing for it can get it done in time. Hope their funding increases.


        • #5
          Originally posted by xraodcop
          "For the last 20 years, California has led the nation in the number of deaths resulting from high-speed vehicle chases," Romero said.
          California also leads the nation in population and number of cars on the road. Romero is just another typical Duh-mocrat.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


          • #6
            What I always wonder is why the "chase" goes on for so long at medium speeds when the perp could be easily pitted and decommissioned. All it does is allow the chase to go on longer and put more innocent people at risk...

            Also after a pit there is no follow up or blocking on both ends of the car, on multiple occasions I see people spun - and then given the room to regain control on their car and take off again...

            My favorite ending ever was the Montana trooper that rammed the side of the perps car at speed when he was trying to get out - a perfectly executed stop in my opinion!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Baz
              That perp also had a weapon, which if you look at the tape frame by frame you see it flying in the air as he was opening the car door. Good move on the Trooper's part.
              I agree completely in that case, and agree with the same force being used in many other situations - before the chase can get out of hand and endanger innocent people...


              • #8
                A good example of the runner making LE look like tools - up until they finally hit him with authority and rip him out of the car...


                • #9
                  Calif. Pursuit LAW


                  California Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines

                  Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines is divided into two main sections.
                  The first describes the aspects of vehicle pursuit, such as driving tactics, air support, and communications; the second section contains applicable state and federal regulations.
                  Lastly, the Appendix includes vehicle pursuit case law and a glossary of related terms. These guidelines are designed to assist law enforcement executives in addressing the broad range of issues surrounding vehicle pursuits. Accordingly, the guidelines are intended to promote discussion, analysis, and review of the agency’s pursuit policy. It is recommended that these policies be developed in concert with agency legal counsel.

                  Vehicle Code §17004.7(b)(2) includes, “a requirement that all peace officers of the public agency certify in writing that they have received, read, and understand the policy.” A form similar to the sample provided *(below)can be used and maintained by an agency to document compliance. This form is provided as a sample and is not required by POST. The required documentation (or a facsimile) is to be retained at your agency. Do not send this documentation to POST.

                  This draft publication will be finalized in July 2007 upon completion of the rulemaking process. This process is required because these guidelines are incorporated by reference in POST Regulation 1081 and are subject to the Adminstrative Procedure Act process for adopting revisions


                  THE POLICY:
                  Some Cities: Drop out if over the speed limit

                  Other jurisdictions: Pursue... but abort if conditons of collision is probable.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jbauch357
                    Also after a pit there is no follow up or blocking on both ends of the car, on multiple occasions I see people spun - and then given the room to regain control on their car and take off again...
                    I guess you don't know what crossfire is?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Baz
                      Agreed, its the job of law enforcement officers to protect against loss of life, limb, and property... Sometimes that means that they need to put it to a stop before it gets to the point that you have someone running hard and reckless. Wrecking your patrol car is a small price to pay compared to the possibility or loss of innocent life. People need to know that when you run from the law, the law will run them down. None of this playing bumper cars or tag with perps, sometimes it looksl ike nascar racing because the cops purposefully try to not hit the suspect. My thinking is, the minute that vehicle becomes a deadly weapon... Your police car should as well against the suspect vehicle. I saw a tape that showed an officer get saved from being run over when a police SUV came and rammed the suspect vehicle to the side of the road when it was bout to run over an officer.

                      It seems that because of the public outcry of car chases, the criminals have a huge advantage. All they have to do is drive Extremely crazy and just hope that the police will have to call the chase off.

                      I couldn't say it any better...
                      "People need to know that when you run from the law, the law will run them down."
                      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

                      -Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)


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