"The absence of accountability in any process for controlling human behavior is a systemic deficiency that clearly demonstrates to all concerned that policy, training, and supervision are really meaningless when there are no consequences for ignoring them." D.P. VanBlaricom, Police Chief, Ret., Bellevue, WA
Published in the Chico
Jan. 18, 2003
Teen's death unnecessary
The article about the Chico Police Department being dropped from any lawsuit involving the death of a local teen-ager, Kristie Priano, is shocking. Priano's death was caused when some others teen-agers were involved in a high speed-chase with police officers, which led to the teen-age driver's car striking the Prianos' car and causing her death.
The death of Priano could have been avoided if only the police officers would have stopped this high-speed pursuit before it got out of hand. The police had every opportunity to stop this high-speed chase.
Not only did the officers know who they were chasing but also that she was a minor, she had taken her mother's car without permission, and that other teen-agers were in the car with her. There was no reason for the police to pursue a high-speed chase. They could have easily let them go and arrested them later when they or their parents were home.
The tragedy does not end with the death of Kristie Priano but also with the young female driver who has to live with what has happened.
This was an unnecessary situation that could have been avoided if the police would have acted in a reasonable and responsible matter.
I believe the Chico Police Department does have a responsibility for the death of Kristie Priano. The Police Department should let our community know what steps they are taking to ensure that this doesn't happen again.