No More Police Chases (unless it is really really warranted)

Disaster hit Indianapolis this morning when A police chase went horribly wrong. The police did catch the suspected car thiefs but only after their vehicle  lost control and it smashed into a daycare.  It looks like five people were hurt and a toddler is in critcal care.  It could have been much worse as many of the older kids had taken a field trip to go see Disney on Ice.

Police pursuits need to end.  The risk in no way justifies the reward.  Insurance can replace a car and most criminals will eventually end up getting caught.  But nothing can replace a lost life.

The Indianapolis Star ran a report entitled “Police Chases: Worth Dying for?” a few years ago. It is a must read for law enforcement officals and politicians.   Unfortunately, the interviewed local police officials don’t come off very well.

Here is the money quote from the article:

Geoffrey P. Alpert, a national expert consulted by police and community leaders about pursuit issues, said restrictive chase policies save lives.

He once thought police needed to chase. “That’s no longer my thought,” said Alpert, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina who has studied pursuits for more than 20 years.

“Until (Indiana’s) policies are revised, you’re going to bury a lot more people.”

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