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Thursday, September 1, 2011

A no brainer, no? Only chase dangerous people!

The police are sworn to protect and serve.

And for the most part, that is precisely what they do.

Yet, occasionally, media portrayals of law enforcement impact actual police work, and cops find themselves in a real-life movie scene, chasing a criminal at high speeds even though residential neighborhoods or in heavy traffic.

And every once in a while, someone dies.

Whoops, sorry, you are now dead.
Like in Indiana recently.

A chase ended in the deaths Tuesday of two suspected car thieves. This would have been banned under a new vehicle pursuit policy under review by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Chief Paul Ciesielski said Wednesday that the new policy would allow officers to chase only violent suspects who are an immediate threat. Currently, police can pursue any motorist who flees, regardless of what they did.

This makes no sense, because courts have ruled that vehicles are deadly weapons when used against the police. The logic works the other way, too. A cop racing through the streets at a high rate of speed is also driving a "loaded weapon."

So logic suggests that if you cannot legally kill a car thief, then you should not be able to chase him, because if he dies during that chase, you are liable for his death.

Critics of chases say they put police officers, offenders and innocent bystanders at risk. And they do.

Now, the counter argument is that now criminals know that when they steal cars, they don't have to worry about being chased by the police. That is also true.

There is any easy solution to this problem. Lock your cars. Don't leave your keys in them. And companies can now produce technology that allows stolen cars to be shut down from afar (just watch the show, "Bait Car" if you don't believe me).

And everybody wins!

1 comment:

  1. High speed police pursuits is a highly debated topic. Do we chase or not? I hate to think that a violent crime happened to my family and the perp was able to flee simply because the police were not allowed to chase him down. I do believe that stricter policies need to be in place and that police should only be allowed to pursue at a high speed when there is a violent suspect situation. There was an instance in another county where an officer observed a motorcycle(crotch rocket) moving at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction of the officer on road patrol duty. The officer turned his vehicle around, and in the midst of trying to catch up to the motorcycle he collided with a vehicle, killing the driver. Now was the officer ever going to catch up with the motorcycle, probably not, and it could have been prevented had the officer had stricter policies in place about high speed pursuits. I do believe there needs to be stricter policies, but I also believe that an officer's discretion needs to play an importatn part of those policies.