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Terminating vehicle pursuits

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June 09, 2008

Terminating vehicle pursuits

Submitted by:
Officer Marc Young, Murrieta (CA) PD

Recently I was selected to go over our department's vehicle pursuit police. As we were going over the review in briefing, one of my partners brought up a very valid point. When terminating a pursuit, for whatever reason, make sure you air where you are discontinuing the chase.

There have been several successful lawsuits against law enforcement agencies because the bad guy has crashed after the pursuit has been called off. The initiating officer has made that very tough choice to discontinue the pursuit but the bad guy continues to drive in a reckless manner without any regard for the lives of the innocent. This is why the pursuing officer has stopped chasing this individual to begin with.

Inevitably, there is a collision where the bad guy hits an innocent motorist who has no idea what is going on. Shortly thereafter, the injured innocent is contacted by one of our favorite people....an attorney! This always ends in a lawsuit against the department. If that fine law enforcement professional took a brief moment to air to dispatch his or her exact location where the pusuit terminated, the attorney would just be wasting his time and several reams of paper. Just something to think about for the policy makers and the troops on the line.

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