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What Police Departments Consider Before Pursuing A Vehicle

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
What Police Departments Consider Before Pursuing A Vehicle

How do police departments determine when or when not to pursue a vehicle?

The question comes after a recent police pursuit of a stolen vehicle in Monterey that was called off due to public safety. Sparta Police Chief Doug Goff said his officers consider several factors.

“We consider the nature of the offense, road conditions, traffic conditions, time of day for example,” Goff said. “We wouldn’t try to initiate a pursuit especially around 3 o’clock when children are getting out of school. Weather conditions play a big part and the speed of the pursuit.”

Goff said if someone has committed a violent felony or is in the process, then a pursuit would likely occur. As for a stolen vehicle, Goff said a decision would have to be made on a case by case basis. Besides that, his department has a no pursuit policy for all misdemeanors.

“If there are alternative means of apprehension, we would like to take that approach,” Goff said. “Say we know who it is, a tag number or a description of someone then we have an alternate means of apprehension.”

Monterey Police Chief Bill Randolph came across a dangerous pursuit last Tuesday. Randolph said he called off the chase of a stolen vehicle to avoid an unfortunate ending.

“We sat and talked about it,” Randolph said. “If it would have been 30 minutes earlier, it would have been during school traffic. When he would have saw those officers standing in the road directing traffic in their blue lights, I’m afraid he would have thought it was a road block for him. It could have ended really bad. It made me sick to my stomach thinking about it.”

Goff said if a pursuit does occur, safe apprehension of a suspect while also ensuring the safety of officers and the public is the goal. Goff said if the situation becomes too dangerous, supervisors usually call off the chase.

“It depends on a lot of things,” Goff said. “There is never a good time for a pursuit. They never turn out real good. They usual end in somebody wrecking or an innocent party getting ran over. We have to play it be ear on these things.”

Goff said in felony situations, strip sticks are an option as well, but not within the downtown area. Goff said his department is not trained in pursuit intervention techniques, but they can be used as a last resort.

The post What Police Departments Consider Before Pursuing A Vehicle appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.