10/04/2010

New policy reduces pursuits in Mont.

City officers are now prohibited from chasing fleeing suspects for minor traffic infractions

The Bismarck Tribune

BILLINGS, Mont. — The number of high-speed police pursuits in Billings dropped more than 75 percent following a new policy prohibiting city officers from chasing fleeing suspects for minor traffic infractions, the police department said.

The high-speed pursuits are "the highest-liability thing that we do in law enforcement," Billings Police Chief Rich St. John told the Billings Gazette.

"We started weighing the risk, the liability, the danger to the officers, citizens and suspects, and we decided the restrictive policy was the way to go as for traffic offenses," the chief said.

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