This page includes published and public quotes on the topic of
"Police Pursuits." I do not
include quotes from my own personal conversations or e-mail
exchanges with pursuit victims, police officers, or any individuals who
discuss this topic with me in a private manner. —Candy Priano
"Without accountability, policy, training and supervision are meaningless,"
—D.P. Van Blaricom, Ret. Bellevue, WA, Police Chief
California State Senator Sam Aanestad, author of SB718: "I introduced "Kristie's Law" (2005) for one simple reason: to save lives. An innocent child in my district was killed in a high-speed police pursuit, and the police weren't even after some violent, dangerous criminal. They were chasing a teenage girl for driving her mother's car without permission. There's something very wrong when the police response to a crime poses a greater threat to public safety than the crime itself." More details about this Deadly Chase, click here.
|“I support law enforcement. My
experience has led me to seek changes in California's state law governing
police pursuits. California's state law violates this oath established by The National Police Ethics Committee: “The primary responsibility of the police service and of the individual officer, is the protection of the people of the United States through the upholding of their laws....” —Candy Priano
Some law enforcement groups have come out against the proposed measure, "Kristie's Law." But, other officers say even if the bill does pass, it won't stop them from catching the bad guys.
|"We can put
out a warrant for their arrest, we can pick them up at their home,
they have families in the area and will usually be caught,"
says Cpl. Dennis Gutierrez, Riverside County Sheriffs.
For the rest of the story, click here.
"Officers must continually question
whether the seriousness of the crime justifies continuing the
pursuit. The immediate apprehension of the violator is never more
important than the safety of innocent persons or the officer
himself. When it becomes clear that the immediacy of
apprehension is outweighed by a clear and present danger to the
officer and others, the pursuit must be abandoned."
Alpert, "Police Pursuits: What We Know"
- Kudos to
this CHP officer
- "I thought of what happened to
Kristie Priano and decided this pursuit was not worth it.
I stopped the pursuit."
- - A CHP officer who put public safety first while pursuing a man
speeding through Chico.
- This officer's decision to "back off
from the chase" resulted in
no injuries and no deaths! ... and
the fleeing suspect did not go on to kill or injure someone else after the officer
stopped the chase.
More of the story.
CHP policy permits high-speed
chases for traffic violations
SAN FRANCISO, May 21, 2004 -- Theodore Resnick's death rekindled a long-standing debate over
whether car chases on city streets pose too many risks. Berkeley
police generally prohibit high-speed chases for traffic
violations, but that policy does not extend to the CHP on city
streets. "In no way are Mr. Norbert [the fleeing
suspect] or I blaming this death on the CHP, but certainly there
were choices made by the CHP that as a person you might
question," Norbert's attorney, Anne Beles of Oakland. More of the story.
--Reporter Tim O'Leary/The Press-Enterprise
TEMECULA, January 20, 2004 -- A police decision to stop chasing a driver fleeing at speeds up to 90 mph may have saved lives Monday afternoon, yet did not prevent Temecula officers from making an arrest in the case, authorities said. "I would like to think it would have been cancelled regardless," police Lt. Chris Davis said. "It would have been a poor decision to continue to chase the vehicle when we could identify the driver. Any time speeding or driving conditions appear to make the risk to the public greater than the need to apprehend the suspect, we'll discontinue the pursuit."
- 'But there's nothing wrong with our
VENTURA COUNTY, November 19, 2003 -- "The CHP regularly reviews its policies
on high-speed chases. Those policies will not be
changed." ..."We're very sorry this happened. It was
a tragic, regrettable incident, and if we could do anything to bring
that girl (her name is Jessica
Mohorko) back, we would. But
there's nothing wrong with our policies."—CHP
Spokesman Tom Marshall
The CHP cruiser, driven by husband and wife
team Jack and Christina Raughtons, was following an alleged speeder
and was traveling roughly 90 mph without lights or sirens when it
slammed into the passenger side of a car driven by Christopher
Haynes. Jessica Mohorko, 18, was in the passenger seat and died at
--Reporter Tamara Koehler
Ventura County Star
November 19, 2003
|"These Citizens do not volunteer to be rolling roadblocks for police,"
—D.P. Van Blaricom, Ret. Bellevue, WA, Police Chief
'It is also a
matter of training'
authority on police driver training, Sgt. Travis Yates of Tulsa,
Okla., says that very few police academies provide lengthy training
on pursuit driving. Yates, who has coordinated driver training of
Tulsa police officers for about seven years, runs a Web site called www.policedriving
"You give some training in the academy, but if a police officer
gets in a pursuit years later, how much training has he or she
had?" said Yates in a telephone interview Friday. A
patrol car is a potential weapon, he said, and departments say,
"Here are the keys" without the needed training.
- --Jim Six
- November 29, 2003
it worth the lives and safety of our officers and citizens to chase traffic offenders? What type of penalty will the offender face if
caught? I'm sorry, but
every law enforcement CEO should put the safety of his community
above the need to lock up someone. If their jurisdiction is like Florida, the arrested offender will probably be home before the
completes his paperwork."
Steven H. Jones
County Sheriff's Office (Florida)
- Consensus is
growing for restrictive pursuit policies
- In trying to explain the trend, Erlanger Police Lt. Kevin Gilpin
says, "It's funny because when you first get in the job you
think it's going to be neat to run down the street with the lights
and sirens on, because when you watched it on TV, you didn't think
about it. You just go, 'That looks like that's fun.' And to a
certain extent, it is fun -- that rush of adrenaline. But it
takes a toll on you. -- because the guy trying to get away from
police doesn't care about people in the roadway. So we have to.
What's the old saying? 'You may win today's battle, but you're not
going to win the war.' " The
Kentucky Post, November 8, 2003
- 'We have a
responsibility to drive more carefully'
Des-Moines Register, November 7, 2003 -- Des Moines police Chief William McCarthy said Thursday that two
serious chase-related crashes in as many weeks amplify the need for
law enforcement agencies to review their policies for high-speed
pursuits. "We have a responsibility to drive more
carefully," McCarthy said.
is a proven fact.
chases kill people."
Conway, 54, after he saw dozens of patrol cars racing by his house
at various speeds. A 21-year-old police officer, Daniel
Starks, was killed in this pursuit when he ran a stop sign and
collided with another police officer as they both raced to join the other
officers ... a tragic chain of events that started in a Fort Myers,
Florida, nightclub parking lot. (October 25, 2003)
- Police Officer Daniel Starks chose to serve
others. Our prayers go out to his family. At their memorial
services, Officer Starks (October 2003) and my daughter Kristie
(Feb. 2, 2002) were
remembered with the same song, "I Can Only Imagine."
I can only imagine the day when unnecessary police pursuits will be
a thing of the past. As I "fight" for more
restrictive pursuit laws, I feel as if I am fighting to save peace
officers from themselves.
- --Candy Priano
always on the hook
- "Change the pursuit laws so that police will
not chase a car because it is stolen. So if a cop sees a
stolen car drive by and doesn't follow, and the car was stolen by a
murderer or robber, who then proceeds to kill or injure someone, can
the victims or victim's relatives sue the city because the crime
would have been prevented if the police had pursued the stolen
- -- Liz Marr, Chico (Source: Chico
Enterprise-Record, Letter to the Editor)
Department of Justice study concludes that only 10 percent of all
pursuits involve violent felons who put the public in imminent
danger. Consequently, 90 percent of all pursuits involve people who
have committed minor, non-violent crimes and, in many cases, can be
caught later in a safer way ... safer for peace officers and
innocent bystanders. By the way, most stolen cars are totaled in
pursuits, and most people who flee do not go on to kill or injure
others if officers decide to stop the pursuit so the surrounding
public is not put in harm's way.
Boys, Big Toys
course, police always say strict guidelines have been followed in
each pursuit and then generally blame the driver who was trying to
get away. Granted, a pursuit begins when someone tries to flee
police, but that doesn't mean a pursuit is necessary.
Unless someone is an imminent threat to the public, say taking pot
shots at unsuspecting citizens with a semi-automatic weapon from the
back seat of a nondescript 1991 sedan, police pursuits are more
macho than law enforcement. Big boys with big toys ..."
Opinion Page Editor
Ventura County Star
paying for something I
had no control over.""The
chase was not my fault, however, I have paid and still am paying for
something that I had no control over while the police officers go on
with their lives. These chases are so
unnecessary. They almost always end in tragedy."
1991 police chase in Lawton, Texas