High Speed Police Chases good for Television bad for reality

Finally, a leader of law enforcement has made policies and decisions which safeguard the lives of the innocent residents.  The local TV station WREX reports that because of “Last week's high speed chase that ended with the death of Rockford resident Karen Williams has once again put this tough decision in the spotlight. Winnebago County Chief Deputy Kurt Ditzler says high speed chases are usually no-win situations for the cops.  Ditzler says the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department has a very restrictive pursuit policy.  Ditzler says the sheriff's department does not chase vehicles involved in routine traffic violations. He says chasing a criminal suspect vehicle depends upon the severity of the incident.”

This is very nice to hear because there are so many other ways to trap a fleeing suspect and capture him/her in a more safe way than a high speed car chase.  Imagine the dispatcher positing officers at key intersections and positions to await the arrival of a fleeing suspect and to then take over the soft pursuit until that vehicle and driver can be safely removed from the highways and roadways without endangering the public.  An example of this is when the driver of a suspected crime takes off, officers follow maintaining the speed limit or no more than five miles over.  Other officers are asked to gather at different points on that route taken by the suspect driver and to pick up the pursuit once that vehicle passes by.  Those police vehicles still behind will then leap frog to other intersection and wait.  Dispatchers should station the in key positions where they will not only see the vehicle coming but be able to pull directly behind it once it passes.  Eventually that suspect driver will be so focused on avoiding those stationed officers that he/she will make a turn onto a street where a stop can be made by police without innocent people getting caught in the middle.

In this world of people willing to save themselves at the cost of turning in their own mother, the officer who collects all of the information that they can on the vehicle means that approaching the vehicle owner with a choice between helping to locate and secure that driver then or taking the fall because it is their vehicle now, may find vehicle owners most willing to take them by the hand to that driver than face the charges.


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