09/25/2009

S.C. mayor revokes no-chase policy

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mayor of a small South Carolina town says she's allowing her police officers to run after suspects again.

Wellford Mayor Sallie Peake on Thursday told WSPA-TV she's revoking her Sept. 2 ban.

She said a conversation with Spartanburg County prosecutor Trey Gowdy prompted the reversal, even though she still doesn't want foot chases.

Gowdy sent a letter Wednesday to state Attorney General Henry McMaster, asking whether the policy violates officers' duties to uphold the law. He says he feared the policy would hamstring officers and embolden criminals.

Earlier this week, Peake said she ordered the ban after a city officer was hurt chasing a "guy who had a piece of crack on him." She said a drug possession charge was not worth higher insurance costs.

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