First, I did an interview recently with a reporter from USA Today about police pursuits, more specifically the change in Milwaukee. I have written about the change before, and you can read that HERE and HERE. It looks like the reporter is putting together quite an extensive article, and let's hope it runs soon.
I ran across an interesting story out of St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, two SLPD officers who died in recent traffic accidents related to police pursuits were not wearing their seat belts. The Globe-Democrat noted that some officers are against wearing their seat belts because it can impede them from getting out of a patrol car quickly. It's pretty easy to disagree with that line of reasoning.
The death of the officers aside, the article was valid to include the financial considerations involved here. According to the Globe-Democrat, worker's compensation payouts are 25 percent higher when a seat belt is not worn. That is a lot. The same can be said for payouts to officer's families.
Again, the loss of life here is by far the most important consideration, but given the budgetary woes departments around the nation face today, you must also consider the financial implications of policy.