Monday, October 29, 2007

Albany Times Union Letter

A letter to the editor I wrote was published in the Albany Times Union Saturday. You can follow the link HERE. Below is as it appeared:

The Albany Police Department must modernize its vehicle pursuit policy. Recently, the department apparently "strengthened" the policy by requiring officers to be vocal over the radio during pursuits in regard to the crimes committed and the situation unfolding. This change was in response to two recent vehicle pursuits that led to an innocent bystander being killed killed and another injured.

Unfortunately, officers can still pursue any violator, no matter how insignificant the violation might be. This is the wrong approach to safe police work.

Many police officers forget that their job is not to arrest people but to keep their community safe. A safer policy would allow police to pursue violators who have committed serious crimes.

No matter the training or the experience, police are not in control of the situation during a pursuit and at least 400 Americans are killed a year as a result. Just because the violator gets out of sight of the pursuing officer does not mean the bad guy got away. Technological advances such as helicopters, video cameras and computers ensure that a strict policy does not hinder law enforcement's ability to do its job.

To prevent the death of more innocent victims and law enforcement officers, Albany must adopt a policy that only pursues vehicles when it is absolutely necessary. Make the change before it is too late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GPS and computers involved in a pursuit? How do they identify the suspect? Helicopters can stay with the fleeing suspect but the suspect is still going to drive wild to get away. Why not abandon pursuits all together? Who cares what the person did? Or how about using other equipment to make pursuits safer. There are strobe lights out there that could be used to change the lights to green so pursuits dont go against red lights. How about louder sirens and brighter lights? How about devices that short out the electrical systems to the car? There is a good medium It doesnt have to be one extreme or the other.