Police Pursuits: More Harm than Good




Rojas, Robert C.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Since 1979, over 7,000 people have been killed during a police vehicle pursuit (Reaves, 2017). Those people include officers, innocent by-standers, and occupants of the fleeing vehicle. This is not an acceptable amount by any means. The statistic of the amount of deaths shows that law enforcement agencies and their officers are risking a great deal when they are pursuing a subject in a vehicle, including the lives of the officers, the suspects, and innocent civilians. An argument could be made that if the suspect dies it is not a big issue, but it is an absolute issue for the family left behind. The job of a police agency is to preserve the peace and protect the community, and in cases of vehicle pursuits, that is sometimes jeopardized. Police agencies across the United States should look at changing their pursuit policy and limit the use of vehicle pursuits to only a very limited criteria. Agencies should consider a policy where compliance is easy to distinguish between and one that permits officers to make the correct decision in a split second. Change is needed in the field of law enforcement. Over the course of the past 25 years, the rate of people dying is the same with no change year after year (Officer Down Memorial Page, n.d.). Agencies are left to decide their pursuit policy, and across the United States, the policies vary from area to area. This needs to change and a more standardized policy should be employed by agencies. The policy should be discouraging and should limit the usage to only the most extreme cases.



Police Pursuit Driving, Police Administration