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The Police Entrance Exam - Vehicle Pursuits

The Police Entrance Exam - Vehicle Pursuits

Sergeant George Godoy

4. The Number One factor studies have determined supporting vehicle pursuits is:

a) traffic and road conditions
b) offense committed by the suspect
c) volume, type, speed and direction of the traffic
d) officer ’s driving skill

The correct answer is b). Results of a study indicate that law enforcement personnel and members of the public focus on the severity of the offense committed by the suspect when supporting a pursuit. The second most important factor was the risk to the public (defined by traffic, road conditions, and the weather).

Restricted Pursuits

Some jurisdictions have very restrictive pursuit policies. For example, the Denver Police Department enacted a policy restricting vehicle pursuits and officers are not authorized to pursue vehicles that:

  • are stolen or involved in non-violent crimes
  • are simply fleeing
  • are in violation of traffic laws
  • are involved in hit and run accidents not involving death or serious injury

Due to the increase in lawsuits, many municipalities have enacted heavy restrictions on pursuits. However, a recent poll by the US Justice Department indicates that officer initiated vehicle pursuits are generally supported by the public as a quality crime fighting tool. 70% of those polled said pursuits were a necessary risk in the war on crime. Over half of those polled thought the decision to pursue should made by the officer and not restricted by department policy. Many experienced cops believe that over-restricting their ability to conduct vehicle pursuits, severely handcuffs their ability to do effective police work. They feel such restrictions give the bad guys another weapon against law enforcement.

Recap

Definition of Vehicle Pursuit – An active attempt by one or more police officers to apprehend a suspect who is operating a motor vehicle and trying to avoid capture. Suspect tactics may include driving at high-speeds and evasive tactics, such as driving off the roadway, making sudden or unexpected movements or maintaining a legal speed, but failing to yield to the officer’s signal to stop. Routine traffic stops or other instances where officers activate emergency lights and siren and the operator stops within a reasonably short distance are not a vehicle pursuit.

When answering common-sense questions about high-speed pursuits, consider this:

No assignment is of such importance and no task need be expedited with such speed, that the risk to public safety become secondary. No task undertaken in the official capacity of a police officer is of such importance to justify the reckless disregard of the officer’s safety, or the safety of others.

Before initiating a vehicle pursuit, an officer should determine if:

  • The suspect presents a clear and immediate threat to the safety of others
  • The suspect has committed or is attempting to commit a serious crime
  • The necessity of immediate apprehension outweighs the level of danger created by pursuit

All emergency vehicle operations should be conducted in strict accordance with existing statutes. When engaged in any vehicle pursuit, an officer will simultaneously use the police vehicle emergency lights and siren.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    denestu

    over 1 year ago

    24 Comments

    In pursuit of criminals, law enforcement officers sometimes must give chase, and that includes on foot and in vehicles. Police pursuits on foot might result in someone near the officer and suspect taking an accidental fall when one or both of them go down in a scuffle. Pursuits in a police vehicle, however, pose the greatest risk to all involved, including the general public, and can end in deaths and the destruction of property or an automobile donation.

  • Badge_max50

    StarkFace

    almost 3 years ago

    28 Comments

    Very good stuff to think about. Kinda disappointed to hear about Denver PD's restrictions, though.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    stehen

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    How can anybody take a decision like that, a wise decision, when they actually have like 2 seconds. The majority of police officers think about that the person driving that car is a dangerous one and he can hurt others. Can a police officer be charged if something goes wrong during the pursuit?
    used cars Trenton

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 5 years ago

    good info

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    spastic

    over 5 years ago

    10 Comments

    I think that everyone that is considering a career in law enforcement should definately take this exam,but before taking the exam they should look at the overview then take the quiz.It most definately helpful to take criminal justice courses as well to better understand the true aspects of what to exspect in the law enforcement field.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    spastic

    over 5 years ago

    10 Comments

    I Think that this is good information to know considering I am a Criminal Justice major at Indian River State College and working for the Indian River County Sheriffs department as a volunteer deputy in their general services department.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    My department's pursuit policy is somewhat lenient. We are authorized to pursue any offender if they are, in fact, fleeing from justice for any violation of the law. As soon as a pursuit becomes too dangerous or unneeded we are to use our common sense and good judgement to either continue/discontinue.

  • Fall_2008_030_max50

    JoelAHermanson

    over 5 years ago

    28 Comments

    good info

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 6 years ago

    Excuse me add to this to former post. It helps a lot to know the LAW!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 6 years ago

    This is so good. Basic and common sense applys. It takes experience to form a basic instint that requires action. Definitely a start. Thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    shielding_wings

    almost 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Im a student of Criminal justice at Itt-technical... funny thing is this is more helpful than the text on the related issues O.O

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 6 years ago

    This helped clarify a lot of questions I had!

  • L_5b45c7d12e02e76b1e42f0702ad89d05_max50

    rickykirkham

    almost 6 years ago

    244 Comments

    Great information. I just learned alot.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    CValencia

    about 6 years ago

    10 Comments

    This is a grate study guide "it's so easy"

  • Senior_max50

    cdizzle6984

    over 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    ive seen too many high speed pursuits in my area many of them ending horribly, Like 2 of them have gone inot other ppls houses and killed them.

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