09/22/2009

S.C. mayor defends no-chase policy for police

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mayor of a small South Carolina town says she banned her police officers from chasing suspects on foot after an officer was hurt running after a man.

Wellford Mayor Sallie Peake said Monday she issued the order in August after the city had to pay for an officer who missed work after chasing a "guy who had a piece of crack on him." She said a drug possession charge was not worth the cost to taxpayers. But her written order said she did "not want anyone chasing any suspects whatsoever."

The decision came after two town-issued cars were totaled within a month, although her order applies only to foot chases.

When a local TV reporter asked about the policy, Peake would not answer and clapped her hands in mock praise that the reporter had found a story.

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