Friday, March 26, 2010

Technology Cannot Replace a Public-Safety First Policy

I wrote a piece for Candy Priano and PursuitSAFETY's Voices on the Street. Distributed on March 17, Voices on the Street is the organization's newsletter. You can subscribe HERE.

There are several factors that go into a safe policy. To begin with, officers must receive adequate training beyond the academy. The fact that officers spend a majority of time in their vehicle does not mean they have the expertise required to safely track down a fleeing suspect.

Second, all departments should have a well-defined policy that clearly states the protocol when dealing with possible pursuits. There should be no doubt in an officer’s mind as to the appropriate action to take in such a circumstance. Officers already have enough on their mind. They need to know—before they “light up” a driver—if their policy allows a pursuit should the driver decide to flee.

To read the rest of the piece, click HERE.

"Classes encourage cops to review pursuit policies"

PursuitWatch was recently mentioned in an article in The Monitor of Edinburg, Texas.

There were 404 fatalities nationwide that stemmed from police pursuits in 2006, according to an analysis of government data by, a pursuit safety advocate. Among those deaths, 133 of the victims were bystanders or occupants of uninvolved vehicles.

The piece continues:

epending on the nature of the offense — especially if no felony was committed — it may be best to cut loose the suspect, despite the officer’s desire to catch the criminal.

“Using good common sense — that’s what it boils down to,” Rodriguez said. “Once you get their license plates, let them go. We’ll get them later.”

I couldn't agree more. To read the piece, click HERE.