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An officer's discretion: To pursue or not pursue?


In the 1970s there was a young recruit who experienced and survived his first “high speed chase.” After booking the formerly fleeing felon (FFF) he thought back on the experience and recognized his life or career could have ended any number of times during the pursuit. The rookie sought out a seasoned veteran and asked, “Is there ever a time when an officer should break off a pursuit if it gets too dangerous?”

The response from the veteran was, “Son, you chase them until their wheels fall off and if their wheels fall off and they keep going then you chase them until your wheels fall off. If word gets out you don’t pursue, no one will stop and everyone will run.”

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