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The Art of the Chase: Vehicle Pursuits

The Art of the Chase: Vehicle Pursuits

Sergeant George M. Godoy

In this article, Sgt. George M. Godoy of Police Exam 911 explains some of the technical aspects of police chases and pursuits, and how you should be explaining your answers in police interviews. Sgt. Godoy runs a very successful Police Video Training Course for applicants to help improve their scores on Police Exams and has personally tested over 1000 potential applicants.

The information presented here is meant to be used as a rule of thumb guideline for vehicle pursuit questions on police entrance exams. Both the police written test and the oral board interview may include judgment questions regarding vehicle pursuits. Police agencies do not want to hire someone who disregards the safety of the public in order to stop a vehicle for a minor traffic violation.

Vehicle pursuits are always regulated by jurisdictional policies and applicable city, state, and federal laws. This article is intended to provide a common sense approach to vehicle pursuits based on a compilation of different police policies from several jurisdictions.

Decision To Initiate A Vehicle Pursuit

The officer intending to stop a vehicle will make every effort to avoid a vehicle pursuit. Activation of lights and siren are delayed whenever possible, until the officer is close enough that the opportunity to flee appears to be unavailable to the operator of the suspect vehicle.

If the operator of the suspect vehicle chooses to avoid being stopped and attempts to flee, the decision to initiate a vehicle pursuit lies with the individual officer.

Certain actions taken by the operator of the fleeing vehicle may escalate the danger to the public, the suspect operator, and the pursuing officer(s). In these cases, jurisdictional policy will prevail in determining whether a pursuit is continued or called off.

Any officer involved in a vehicle pursuit must drive with due regard for the safety of all persons concerned and any exemptions granted the officer, as an authorized operator of an emergency vehicle, do not include protection from the consequences of that officer driving with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

  • Avatar_max160_max160_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    What? No new articles?

  • Mustang1_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    Very Informative.. Well maintained Police vehicles and experienced drivers is a requisite

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    Good info and Officer Safety training

  • Mourning_star_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    Hey bad guys...If you don't feel like stopping when we try and pull you over...DON'T! Just keep on driving. Heck do what ever you want! And if we still stick behind you, with our annoying lights and sirens, just drive faster and more reckless, because it's the initial reason for the stop that counts. Right? Drive the wrong way on a highway at 20+over the speed limit? That's not dangerous, we don't need to stop you. It's not like you were pointing a gun at anyone. It's not like you're a hazard to the public, and could kill someone with your reckless disregard for life, safety, and the concerns of others. Oh yeah, and last but not least, it's OUR fault you are running, because you wouldn't be running if we weren't chasing you. By the way, did I mention that we caught a homicide suspect, (convicted) for a head light out on a traffic stop? Can I also mention that he had left the scene of one killing of a family member with an axe, and was on the way to another family members house with said axe? He didn't run, but what if he did? According to this, we should have let him go because it was only a headlight, right? Someone would have died. The true deterent to these pursuits is to make it so hanous a crime, that you get thrown under the jail, not the misdomeanor it is now. Even now that we have a felony pursuit charge, it still doesn't have teeth. You should be able to articulate attempted murder when someone purposely drives at excessive speeds, and/or are reckless on purpose in order to get officers to break off the pursuit. Ask yourself this...if a man was walking down the street with a gun and was pointing it at people, what would you're reaction, and use of force be? How is that different than a one ton vehicle at 30 or 40 miles or more over the speed limit? The vehicle is being used as a weapon.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago

    Where's the Art part?

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    almost 6 years ago


    i thought this was a decent intro to someone that might face these types of questions on his/her police exam. should give them a good idea of what to answers to pick.

  • Usmcrlee_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    The title of the article and the brief description were completly misleading. I wound up skimming through the pages trying to find something worth reading. I'll print this off and read it to my kids to put them to sleep at night....

  • Blue_hills_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    Remember... it's the suspect who initiates the pursuit, not the officer. The suspect sets the event into motion when they choose to ignoire our lights/siren and elude us. Thank you for reminding everyone that we MUST always operate our vehcles with due regard for public safety. Times have changed folks, we have to be much smarter about the way we drive and who/when we pursue. Go home safe to your family! Don't get tied up in unnecessary litigation or better yet DIE froma wreck because you just had to chase the stop sign runner at high speeds. Be smart and be safe. Cornman, OCPD LEDT

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