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Notable Quotes

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"These Citizens do not volunteer to be rolling roadblocks for police." —Ret. Police Chief D.P. Van Blaricom, Bellevue, Washington.

"Our local critics said that if we quit chasing stolen cars that our numbers would skyrocket. But guess what? When we quit chasing stolen vehicles our arrest and recovery rate went way up. Why? Because we thought "out of the box" and started the "auto trap" concept. No more chases, no more damaged cars, no more injuries, and no deaths! We do not pursue for stolen vehicles and yet our arrest numbers are up! Go figure." --Chief Steven H. Jones, Orange County (Florida) Sheriff's Office, via e-mail

Police Quit Chase, Still Make Arrest
TEMECULA, CA  -- "I would like to think it would have been cancelled regardless. 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." --Temecula police Lt. Chris Davis, The Press-Enterprise, January 21, 2004

In the three-month period after Phoenix's policy took effect, the number of pursuits in the city fell 75 percent from the same period the year before. Still, Phoenix police say the new policy doesn't mean people aren't getting arrested. Instead, police have been trained to rely more heavily on aircraft and undercover units to follow suspects and to lead patrol officers to them when they get out of their cars. Arizona Daily Star

"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, KESQ Channel 3 News, April 12, 2004  

A high-speed chase is one of the few times when police officers will knowingly
put the lives of innocent civilians at risk.
—Capt. Travis Yates, Tulsa, OK., Police Department, CNN report, July 27, 2005

Fleeing drivers who are not chased will eventually be caught. "Abandoning the pursuit does not mean the officer stops apprehension efforts; rather, the officer initiates other resources to bring about the apprehension." —Lt. John Specht, Hillsboro, Oregon, PD.

Sanger is entitled to blanket immunity because it had a policy "regardless of whether the police chief personally read or understood the pursuit policy." —Judge Mark W. Snauffer, ruling on the wrongful death suit filed on behalf of Heather Lancaster. The Fresno Bee Dec. 28, 2005.

"Adoption of a policy which may never be implemented is cold comfort to innocent victims." —California 4th Appellate Court Justice William Rylaarsdam ruling on another chase that killed an innocent victim and clearly making a plea for the Legislature to correct this flaw in California's state law, Nov. 22, 2002

"... he shouldn't have been doing what he was doing, and I don't think the police should have been chasing him either. ... if they weren't chasing him I wouldn't have gotten hit." Monica Ortiz, Aurora, Colo., talks about the death of her unborn baby boy, who was killed in a police pursuit crash to recover a stolen car,, Jan. 4, 2006.

"New South Wales police have lied, continued chasing when ordered to stop, failed to report pursuits, and used unrecorded radio frequencies to evade supervision. In some cases, supervisors have simply turned a blind eye." --Minutes and correspondence of the New South Wales Pursuit Management Committee, Sydney Morning Hearld, June 10, 2005

"It gets harder and harder to justify some of the pursuits that are being conducted when the violations are minor." --Paul Jaroscak, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Dept., KSL-TV, June 6, 2005

"I simply cannot support those who flee, no more than I can support officers who fail to follow their pursuit policies. One person's wrong does not make the other person's wrong ... right." --Candy Priano

"Orlando police Chief Mike McCoy is quick to express pride in his department's policy that strictly limits high-speed chases. Now that policy is facing its first serious test. Late Friday night one innocent person was killed .... McCoy's challenge is to prove that the pursuit policy is more than a collection of words."
—Editorial, Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 24, 2006

"They (the police) screwed up. She (Mariline Sacks) should not have died. I wonder how many other policies do they have that they don't know about." --Margaret Dos Santos about the death of innocent pursuit victim Mariline Sacks, San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2004.

(Note: In 1987 California's state law was changed, granting blanket immunity to California law enforcement agencies if they simply adopt a pursuit policy. Officers do not need to follow the pursuit policy their agency has actually adopted, so perhaps that's why some California officers do not know or follow their pursuit policy.)
'But there's nothing wrong with our policies'
CHP Spokesman Tom Marshall:  "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."
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 the scene. 
--Reporter Tamara Koehler
Ventura County Star
November 19, 2003
"An officer's split-second decision should not be whether to chase or not chase, but rather to set into motion those resources that will catch violators."
—Nora Profit, owner, The Writing Loft and PursuitSAFETY Advisory Board Member


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