“We can’t get into a situation where we’re endangering the public more than the individual, if left on the streets, would endanger the public,” Police Chief Troy Riggs said. “The first thing is to protect human life.”Further:
Last year, the department’s officers were involved in 76 high speed chases, Riggs said. About 80 percent of those were with traffic violators who didn’t necessarily need to be pursued at speeds of 80 to 100 mph, he said.
Before changing the policy, officials talked to other departments that had increased their requirements to start or continue a pursuit. They were told that the number of people fleeing from officers did not increase and that most of the people who did were caught eventually, Mylett said.With the number of on-the-job officer deaths up so far this year, this is a wise move to protect both officers and the public. About 2/3 of on-the-job police deaths occur during traffic accidents, many during high-speed pursuits.
See related Grits posts:
- Dozen Dallas officers disciplined for high-speed chase violations
- Officer death contradicts Houston PD claims that all its cops wear seat belts
- Accidents mount in face of Dallas sheriff, constables' outdated pursuit policies
- Houston PD high-speed chase policy injures dozens every year
- A suggestion for reducing life threatening risks to police officers
- Texas leads nation in 2007 officer deaths
- Blogversation on high-speed police pursuits