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Police: Public Safety Paramount In High-Speed Chases
Backing Off Often Best Option, Officers Say

UPDATED: 10:52 am CST February 10, 2004

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- When it comes to high-speed chases, Fort Smith police say stepping on the brakes can pay off just as much as stepping on the gas. Fort Smith police found themselves in high-speed chases at least three times in the past three weeks. In each of those cases, officers stopped the pursuit after collecting information, allowing the suspect to be arrested at a later date. For the rest of the story, click here.

Police Quit Chase, Still Make Arrest
By Tim O'Leary/The Press-Enterprise
TEMECULA, CA -- 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. The risk of injury or death prompted police to terminate the chase soon after it began. "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."  For the rest of the story, click here.
 
Making Pursuits Safer ... That's Our Job
...law enforcement officers have a much larger and more important duty -- " TO PROTECT AND SERVE."  Our "jobs" are to make our streets as safe as possible, not the opposite. For the rest of the story, click here.
 
Consensus is growing for restrictive pursuit polices
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
 
Public Safety Came First for This CHP Officer
CHICO, CA -- The California Highway Patrol (CHP) called off a chase (February 24, 2003) 
because they felt it was unsafe for the public.  A CHP officer speaking to a reporter on 
KHSL TV (Channel 12) said, we thought about Kristie Priano and decided it wasn't 
worth it.  The chase began on Highway 99.  The fleeing motorcyclist raced through 
city streets at speeds exceeding 90 mph and then went into the same residential area 
where our family was hit a year ago.  CHP stopped the pursuit as soon as the fleeing 
cyclist went into this residential area.  The TV station did a complete job of covering the 
story.  They showed pictures of Kristie, and they briefly mentioned Senate Bill 982. 
For the rest of the story, click here.
 
Chases Concern Police Chief
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.  The Des-Moines Register, November 7, 2003
 
Proud of His Officers 
"It was a heck of an end to a Monday," Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said. "We recovered a stolen vehicle, but it was in way, way worse shape than when he got it. It was a miracle nobody was hurt. I'm so incredibly proud of my officer for backing off."  Post Independent, October 22, 2003

Letter to the Prianos 
"Since the State of California provided complete immunity to police agencies that adopt a four criteria pursuit policy, without requiring that the policy be followed, they have the dubious distinction of leading the nation in police pursuit deaths and the toll promises to continue even higher until there is statutory intervention," 
--D.P. Van Blaricom, MPA, FBI-NA, Chief of Police (Ret.) and Police Practices Expert, quoted from a letter to Mark and Candy Priano dated February 11, 2003

 

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