The Need for Standardized Pursuit Reporting Requirement for Law Enforcement Agencies
Vehicle pursuits are one of the most dangerous aspects of law enforcement that an officer can be involved in. There have been several concerns as to whether or not police pursuits are justified and under what circumstances they should be allowed. Most law enforcement agencies have a clearly defined pursuit policy; however, veryfew agencies keep track of standardized pursuit data. The Uniform Crime Reporting(UCR) Program established a standardized crime reporting system for law enforcement agencies. This serves as an ad-hoc report card for agencies to compare their crime rate with other agencies across the country. Since there is no national standard for pursuit reporting, this same type of report card is not available for lawenforcement agencies. In order for law enforcement agencies to develop good pursuit policesand training programs, they need to have the ability to report, track, compare and analyze pursuit data with other agencies. A review of the literature confirmed the benefits and recommendations for reporting and analyzing police pursuit data on both a local and nationallevel. Standardizing the reporting process will result in law enforcement agencies beingable to analyze historical data and use that information as a predictive model for whatmay occur in future similar situations. The best predictor of the future is to analyze thepast. Society understands that suspects are going to flee and that police are going tochase. Technology has now given police the ability to understand and learn from these events and do everything they can to make them safer. Having a standardized process for reporting and analyzing pursuit data is just one step to assist law enforcementagencies in engaging in safer vehicle pursuits.