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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/17/2002 11:20:44 AM EST
Every now and then I watch those police chase TV shows. Many of them mention that there is a push to limit situations where the police can chase due to 3rd party casualties from reckless driving. I tend to side with the always chase camp. Honestly, how many people would stop without the knowledge that if you don't stop, they'll keep chasing you until you do? Then again, it kinda stinks to have innocent people getting killed because some punk was doing 100+ to get away when it was just a broken taillight and you can show up at his house the next day. Of course, every time they catch those guys on the shows, they have drugs or something on them that they didn't want to get caught with. Any of you guys have thoughs or recent policy changes on this?
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 6:25:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2002 6:27:25 PM EST by Sukebe]
Originally Posted By mace: Then again, it kinda stinks to have innocent people getting killed
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[b] Kinda[/b] stinks!?! Ever seen two boys under 5 YOA dead and their mother and brother near death because of a vehicle pursuit? If your on the job you will become very leary of pursuits. The most important part of the job is to protect the public. If that means not pursuing so be it. Argue that the bad guy is to blame if you want. We are to blame. We know better, we know what can happen. It isn't worth it. Go ahead and dream up all the super crime fighter scenarios that you want to try to justify putting innocent people at risk. The fact is you will never initiate a pursuit on the bank robbing, mass murdering, child stealing and raping, nuclear bomb having, terrorist master mind that you dream off catching. You will get someone killed because some loser has a bench warrant or a suspended drivers license. Edited to say that "you" is not directed at any particular individual.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 8:12:08 PM EST
I hate pursuits, they are a lose/lose proposition. I've been in three "full blown" pursuits and two of those were worth catching. One was a piss-ant thug. I am in favor of restrictive policies, however I think it would be a grave mistake to eliminate the option all together. I also think ANY real flight by motor vehicle ought to carry a felony 2-year minimum sentence, $10k fine, lifetime loss of driving privileges, forfeiture of vehicle and an ass-whuppin! What I don't understand is the "LA" style pursuit where they just run and run and run the bad guy for hours in heavy traffic. I feel like once the pursuit is initiated, all effort must be made to stop the flight. In other words, any agency that will pursue should have a plan/policy to apprehend the suspect other than the "run them till they wreck" method. Use spikes or the PIT maneuver or something, but stop the flight as soon as possible or terminate. Lastly, most of the pursuits shown on TV make me shudder. Some Cops apparently don't care if they or anyone else goes home. Every time I see some thug T-bone a family on video, I think "was it worth it?" Nope.
Link Posted: 6/17/2002 10:29:17 PM EST
I don't pursue....too much liability. However, I think the agencies that are willing to pursue should also be willing to authorize their people to use deadly force to end these things before they begin. By deadly force I mean P.I.T. maneuver and just generally using your patrol car quickly to end a chase a soon as it begins, or as soon as possible. If every time someone ran they were hammered off the road, pursuits would decrease.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 1:55:20 AM EST
I have been extremely lucky in that all of "pursuits" were at night and only last an average of about one minute before the fleeing party wrecks out, boxes themselves in because they don't know the area, or gives up. Almost all of them were at night in very light traffic or I would not have pursued, except in two cases where the suspects posed more of a threat by not being stopped. The first (and my first real pursuit) was of some folks who I knew had just shot a couple of people. The second was a drunk gong the wrong way on a moderately busy Interstate. I was scared silly on that one. Every person who has run, with one exception, was drunk. I have terminated a couple before they got started because of conditions. I have had a few where the bad guy was going so fast (130 or 150 or so) where I didn't even try to catch up. I also noticed that we got a real rash of runners after another, larger local agency announced loudly to the local media that they would no longer pursue. In the "old days" our agency had an "official" policy that a runner may enter our fair city, but they weren't leaving. Things are a lot more professional, these days. As far as my opinion goes, I think that most pursuits should be balanced on the need to get the offender in custody weighed against traffic conditions and the threat to the public. I also thinking that running in a vehicle is inherently dangerous, shows utter disregard for the safety of the public, and ought to be considered a deadly force situation, but the courts don't agree with me at this time. I think that the penalties should be severely jacked up. Our agency's policy pretty much leaves the decision to officers and supervisors and is fairly open-ended, but a strict interpretation of it, which is currently being re-enforced as doctrine, would limit our pursuits. I think maybe they are being a little too strict, but not by much. My life has probably never been in greater danger than when one of these idiots runs in a vehicle and I have to chase them. They need to be locked up for a very, very long time.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 1:19:39 PM EST
I am one who has an in between opinion. I believe we should chase, but we need to re-evaluate every 5 to 10 seconds. I agree that they are very dangerous. I worked in NH where pursuits were very restrictive, violent felonies only. Here in NY where I work, we don't have a pursuit policy at all. It is chase and you make the call unless a supervisor advises otherwise. Sukebe, I agree with your perspective of the dangers, but to say it is "our fault" is crazy. I swore to uphold the law, and that includes to try to apprehend violators of the law. It is purely the fault of the person running. Yes I would like to find ways to end pursuits all together, but to say it is the police officers fault and that they should know better, I just don't agree with that. I respect your position on it, but I disagree. Anyway, stay safe everyone!
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 2:33:50 PM EST
I am in favor of restrictive policies, however I think it would be a grave mistake to eliminate the option all together. I also think ANY real flight by motor vehicle ought to carry a felony 2-year minimum sentence, $10k fine, lifetime loss of driving privileges, forfeiture of vehicle and an ass-whuppin! What I don't understand is the "LA" style pursuit where they just run and run and run the bad guy for hours in heavy traffic. I feel like once the pursuit is initiated, all effort must be made to stop the flight. In other words, any agency that will pursue should have a plan/policy to apprehend the suspect other than the "run them till they wreck" method. Use spikes or the PIT maneuver or something, but stop the flight as soon as possible or terminate.
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This sounds pretty close to my opinion, especially the need to stop the chase as soon as possible by any means necessary. Anyone going triple-digit speeds on crowded highways trying to elude the police doesn't seem very different from a nutcase waving a gun around in a crowded mall, and should be treated as such. I would also tend to think that the final judgment whether or not to continue a chase should go to the officer actually pursuing, who is almost certainly in the best position to judge if the need to stop this guy now is great enough to take the risks involved in a high-speed pursuit. I always thought that the most important job of the poilce was to apprehend and punish those who break the law and do harm to others. It's the whole justice vs. safety argument.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 6:01:29 PM EST
I disagree that the officer in pursuit is the best judge of when to terminate. Yes, they do have the best vantage point of the pursuit, but they also have adrenaline, pride, instinct, and tunnel vision. It is a rare officer that can be calm, cool, and most importantly, disinterested during a pursuit. Once the "beagle" instinct kicks in, it takes some maturity or a serious scare to cause most officers to re-evaluate. That is why most agencies give termination authority to a supervisor or the senior officer involved. No, they won't always have an eagle-eye view, but, rightfully, they should make the call.
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 5:23:28 AM EST
My dept has a strict policy. We can ONLY chase if a forcible felony is involved.
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 8:11:38 PM EST
Never having worked for a "no pursuit" agency I would like to hear from those officers that do. I have this fear that a known "no pursuit" policy might have every Beavis and Butthead refusing to stop for the lights and siren. I do agree that although the pursuit officer should be the person to make to decision he or she often isn't able to and the supervisor needs to step in. As a patrol supervisor I can still remember how P*SSED OFF I was that even a minor traffic violator took off on me. As a patrol supervisor I know that if, in a pursuit, ANYONE gets hurt it wasn't worth it (for the officer, the community, and the Dept). A chase at 02:00 in light or nonexistant traffic is a lot different than one during rush hour and although the idiot running lights and on the wrong side of the roadway should be the person held totally responsible for the damage he or she causes WE ALL KNOW WHO THE PRESS AND LAWYERS WILL BE CRAWLING ALL OVER when it all goes horribly wrong. Buzzy
Link Posted: 6/22/2002 2:14:35 PM EST
I caught up to a guy who 211'd a bank at gunpoint one time. I attempted a felony stop and the guy fled. He almost rammed another patrol car in the proccess. We declared a pursuit only to have a Lt. call it off seconds later. It really pissed me off. Our no pursuit policy sucks. I agree with the idea of not pursuing for broken tailights but not violent crimes also... Now the citizens are complaining about the no pursuit policy because we wave goodbye when their stolen cars take off from us when we find them.
Link Posted: 6/22/2002 2:42:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ohaiclan: Now the citizens are complaining about the no pursuit policy because we wave goodbye when their stolen cars take off from us when we find them.
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Citizens don't have to worry about someone getting killed because we were trying to retrieve their car. Which in about a third of the cases was "stolen" (if not actually given by the owner) by/to someone they know.
Link Posted: 6/24/2002 2:45:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/30/2002 2:31:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Pretzelboy: I disagree that the officer in pursuit is the best judge of when to terminate. Yes, they do have the best vantage point of the pursuit, but they also have adrenaline, pride, instinct, and tunnel vision. It is a rare officer that can be calm, cool, and most importantly, disinterested during a pursuit. Once the "beagle" instinct kicks in, it takes some maturity or a serious scare to cause most officers to re-evaluate. That is why most agencies give termination authority to a supervisor or the senior officer involved. No, they won't always have an eagle-eye view, but, rightfully, they should make the call.
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I was thinking about this the other night, and it occured to me: If the officer behind the wheel is not believed to be mature and experienced enough to make the decision, then why is he behind the wheel of a police car (alone) in the first place? Shouldn't having your own patrol car be delayed until you are believed to be experienced and mature enough to make these decisions? And while I agree that punishment for and response to evading the police in a reckless and dangerous manner should be severe, trying to make it a federal crime is the wrong idea. The federal government has no authority to regulate in-state car chases - it would violate the tenth amendment, and more unconstitutional federal laws is the last thing we need.
Link Posted: 6/30/2002 7:42:58 PM EST
While you were watching those Police Chase shows on the tube, were there any moments where any of the officers did anything stupid. Where they took any chances they shouldn't have? Where they had a full-on smash 'em, bash 'em over a minor charge? Everyone of those shows I watch has these moments in abundance. You'd think mature officers would make better decisions, huh? There is a significant difference, IMHO, in being *mature* enough to be a cop (after all, if we don't hire 'em young, how the heck are we going to get 30 years out of 'em?) and being mature as a cop. After all, by its very definition -- ma•ture \m€-"tur, -"tyur\ adj ma•tur•er; -est 1 : based on slow careful consideration 2 : having attained a final or desired state 3 : of or relating to a condition of full development (c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved. -- it takes time. It has been estimated that it takes 3-6 years for an patrol officer to reach their most effective level of performance. That leaves plenty of time to initiate and continue reckless pursuits. Further, there is no shortage of low-quality cops in the US. Many jurisdictions/agencies cannot hire competitively enough to avoid problem cops. Others provide little training beyond the academy, have no FTO programs, do not develop or publish policies, and operate under poor/no supervision. Most agencies really try to hire good officers, but it just doesn't always work out that way. Therefore, I stand by my opinion, which is in many respects shared by the major police professional organizations, that the supervisor have the authority to terminate. *************** I certainly don't advocate and did not suggest that the Feds set the punishment guidelines for a person who flees by vehicle. My suggested sentence is well within the powers of any state to impose. The federal government does not issue drivers licenses or enforce state traffic laws.
Link Posted: 7/1/2002 12:05:33 PM EST
The Federal laws part was in reply to DarkHelmet, not Pretzelboy. Should have made that clear. Anyways... From what you are saying Pretzelboy, it sounds like this would be another symptom of police agencies nationwide not getting enough really qualified applicants. I have seen other officers post on these boards about how they used to have several times more applicants then they needed, so they could pick and choose the most qualified, but that this is no longer the case. With fewer applicants and more affirmitive action, police agencies may be forced to hire people who really have no business being police officers. What's the solution here? I don't really know, though more funding for police agencies couldn't hurt. I would speculate that a lot of funding disappears through government pork and other politics. It seems like common sense that an officer would require several years to reach optimum performance. The simple solution would be to keep these new officers partnered with more experienced officers until they are really ready to work on their own. Of course, this may not be practical because of the issues above.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 5:01:20 PM EST
When I was young, dumb and full of .. you know, I loved pursuits. Now, I can't stand the damn things. I think that sometimes they're necessary but not for everything and not for crowded municipalities. Circumstances can change that but that's why they call it discretion. Ask most newbies why they chased somebody and they say "cause they ran". Not good enough. You should not chase someone in a 2000 lb auto for the same reasons you chase someone on foot. Had a "foot pursuit" the other night. I know the dumbass' birthdate better than my own kids for crying out loud. I ran far enough to yell the obligitory "stop, you're under arrest" and then stopped. Added the fleeing to my list of charges. We'll pick him up at McDonalds where he works. Most vehicle pursuits are initiated with less information than foot pursuits but have much higher risks. Should we be able to chase, hell yes. Should we do it as much as we do, hell no.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 5:10:58 AM EST
Pursuits are a no win situation when involving a traffic violation. I took a pursuit driving class several years ago. They stressed the fact that if you are involved in an accident, the initial reason for the stop will be scrutinized, not the fact that the perp wouldn't stop after the lights came on. Yes, the car may be stolen, or he may have just robbed a gas station, but you will have to explain your reasons for continuing the pursuit for a minor traffic violation. Think of this. Would you want your family t-boned because some loser didn't have a MC endorsement????P.S. Be careful of your radio traffic. We are not chasing, or pursuing. We are attempting to stop.....
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 5:46:21 AM EST
Just a few thoughts here. I can appreciate both sides of the discussion. Just to add to the confusion.... If a suspect has 2-10 (or more) DWI/DUIs on his record, what are the chances that he is drunk behind the wheel frequently. Therefore, he most likely endangers the lives of everyone when he gets behind the wheel. If we see this person drive, we try to stop him, and he doesn't stop, then should we let him go to kill someone with his vehicle? On the other hand, we do have the bottom feeder lawyers that will try to blame us for everything. It's a vicious cycle. I tend to agree with the view that we should use our vehicles to stop the other car. Of course the department insurance won't like it!! One thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that you follow long enough to to indicate to the driver that you are trying to stop him. Just the other day, one of our officers tried to stop a car and the car kept going. He tried his siren and the vehicle traveled for another 5 blocks or so. The reason the guy didn't stop is because he didn't have a rear view mirror and had his radio blasting. He was extremely apologetic when we got him stopped. (Yes he did get a ticket!) my point is that if we had rammed his car, we would have had a bad situation on our hands. That kind of policy would require smart use by the officers. I think chiefs and sheriffs in the area need to get together and make a decision that all the agencies in the area can adopt. That way we will have an idea how every other agency in the area will act and what they will do.
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