Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What's the pursuit rule?

I can understand that a law-enforcement agency might not want the public to know what its pursuit policy is. Would this just mean that criminals would take off, knowing that officers won't chase them?

How fast is too fast?

Is 80MPH on E. Wonder Lake Road, southbound from the area of the center of "downtown" Wonder Lake toward  Route 120, too fast?

How about 90MPH? Too fast?

How about 100MPH?

How about 120MPH?

If you are chasing a traffic violator and he's hitting 120MPH in a 35-45MPH zone, do you let him go? What happens at a signalized intersection? Does he blow the light and get through, with luck, without smashing into cross-traffic? Does the deputy chasing him run out of luck and cream cross-traffic?

The car being chased crashed somewhere south of Route 120 in Bull Valley. Will the Northwest Herald have all the details in the morning?


drapermafia said...

subject crashes car on ridge rd, leaves vehicle with a passenger inside. Takes off on foot heading east and is taken in to custody on draper rd.... Subject knocked on several front doors on draper rd before being caught....MCSD/WLPD.... both on scene

Mike said...

Policies vary from dept to dept. Where I work now it is pretty much anything goes as long as a shift supervisor doesn't call it off. Others have "no chase" policies that are so strict that you could not chase Osama bin Ladin if you saw him with a nuclear device. Then there are others that, for who knows what reason, like to try to confuse their own personnel as to exactly what the policy is. Where I used to work essentially had a no chase policy except for forcable felonies or where tthe person being chased was escaping by means of a deadly weapon mo matter what the offense. The outside the written policy they put out a video, reqired to be viewed, that a motor vehicle was a deadly weapon. Combine just these 2 and the nearly no chase policy becomes near as wide open as where I now work. But the confusion then takes another turn. Along with the chase policy they have an emergency driving policy. Partof that policy requires that emergency llights and siren be activated if any traffic laws are to be violated. When trying to catch a speeder lets say, in almost every instance you must violate the speed limit yourself to catch him especially if you are moving on the opposite direction at the time of clocking him. This policy requires the activation of your lights at the moment you cross the speed limit while trying to catch him. Seems fine until that confusing chase policy is read further. Part of its definition of a chase is if the other vehicle uses an evasive tactic. I couldnt find anywhere what that mean't so I reviewed my training from Northwestern University Traffic Institute and found a definition for evasive tactic. That definition is slow down, speed up, turn lfet, turn right , stop or do nothing. I posed a question to a supervisor based on that definition anout our policy. That question was, if I am following a car traveling 5 mph with no license plat displayed and I attempt to stop it by activating my lights and siren am I cosidered chasing the car if it does nothing but continue driving at 5 mph. His response was " yes"

Gus said...

Thanks, Mike. Is that 5MPH chase an "O.J. Simpson chase"?

Gus said...

Of course, a loose-as-a-goose policy means the officer is going to get nailed, no matter what. He can't ever be right, so then he's wrong.

Last night's high-speed chase and the crash of the fleeing car didn't make this morning's paper. And there is no media release yet on the Sheriff's Dept. website.

Mike said...

Pretty much like O.J. yes. Even better, I spoke above about the speeder going the other way. According to that same supervisor, if you clocked that car, turned around too go after it and hit the speed limit u must turn on your lights and siren. Then even if you were still so far behind the guy he doesn't even know you are there yet, if he didn't pull to the side and wait for you that was a chase in violation of policy.

Gus said...

I've learned that MCSD has a rigid pursuit policy and frequent refresher classes. Deputies are not to chase for traffic violations. The sergeant should have called off last night's pursuit.

Have you seen the "Is It Worth the Risk?" video of the Cal. Highway Patrol? I think it was funded by Jay Leno.

Mike said...

I have heard of it but not seen it.

Mike said...

I have been doing this for the better part of 30 years. I can count on one hand the number of chases i have been involved in. I agree that a lot of times that they are more dangerous than they are worth, especially for traffic violations. The only problems I have ever had with the except for traffic violations is 1 the idea and reality that there is more often than not more to a chase than a traffic violation to make the person run. 2 if someone is doing something serios like Duior even excessive speeding, ie 90 in a 45 do you let them continue while you sit and watch or do you do sometng even if it means a chase?