Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One they didn't publish

I sent this letter to the News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) concerning a pursuit by the Franklinton PD that killed two young sisters.

Subject: Unnecessary Tragedy

In the wake of Saturday’s police chase that ended in the death of two young sisters, the Franklinton Police Department must develop a progressive, well defined policy that only pursues those suspected of committing a violent crime. Simply stated, the pursuit of someone who was observed driving dangerously should have never occurred. Was the need to apprehend this man so important that it was worth the risk to both the officer and the innocent public? No.

Currently, according to reports, the Franklinton PD allows a pursuit if a felony has occurred. In this case the felony that justified the pursuit was the suspect’s refusal to pull over. If this is their justification, then what is the purpose of having a policy at all? This way they can pursue someone who has a broken taillight or littered.

A policy that only allows a pursuit if one is suspected of a violent crime such as rape or murder properly weights the safety of the public with the need to catch the bad guys. Law enforcement must understand that a smart policy does not hinder their ability to do their job. Technologies such as helicopters, radios, video cameras, GPS, and the everyday computer ensures us that just because the pursuing officer loses sight of the suspects does not mean they will get away.

Often, police forget that their job is not to arrest people but to keep their community safe. Did they do it in this case? No.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad when that same guy kills those two sisters after the police end the chase, everyone is still up in arms because now the police "ENDED IT TOO SOON".

Police can never seem to please the public who can sit back and "monday morning quarterback" the whole situation. I would like to see the average citizen doing the extraordanary tasks that these officers do, the average citizen couldn't deal with the bloodshed and anguish that police officers deal with on a daily basis. They would go insane.

These officers feel bad enough already with someone telling them they screwed up, because guess what THEY ALREADY KNOW. They were already called into the police chiefs office and scolded, trust me I have been there.