Alpert, chair, department of
criminology and criminal justice, University of
South Carolina, is a nationally recognized expert on police
violence, pursuit driving and training. He says, "While you cannot
completely restrict police pursuits, they should be reserved for suspects who have
committed violent felonies.
Federal Bureau of Investigation reported in 2002 that 400-500 people are
killed every year in chases.
More than 3,000
people have been killed in police chase crashes in the past 10
years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration and more than 1/3 of the deaths were innocent
enforcement agencies in
and states have adopted restrictive pursuit policies to
eliminate unwarranted pursuits that often lead to injuries and tragic deaths
of innocent bystanders and the officers themselves. Putting
public safety first are agencies in Baltimore; St. Louis; Orange County,
Florida; Orlando, Florida; Miami, and
Peachtree City, Georgia.
Jim Phillips of
PursuitWatch.org has analyzed hundreds of pursuit policies and was
recently praised for his efforts in working on policy revisions in the
State of Florida. Here is what Jim said after he reviewed the 2002 Chico
(California) Pursuit Policy: "The
policy is so long, tedious, contradictive, vague, and useless. It
is impossible to fix. Trash it and start over."
Pursuit Training The following information from 2003-2005 was posted on www.policedriving.com, but the stories are no longer linked.
typical police officer is given a 2-5 day school in their basic
academy on driving," PoliceDriving.com reported between 2003-2005. "Maybe 4-8 hours of that was spent on pursuit
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.com.
give some training in the academy, but if a police officer gets in a
pursuit years later, how much training has he had?" said Yates
in a telephone interview Friday.
patrol car is a potential weapon, he said, and departments say
"Here are the keys" without the needed training.
puts the officers in a bad position," said Yates. "I think
we're really putting officers at a disadvantage."