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The Art of the Chase: Vehicle Pursuits

The Art of the Chase: Vehicle Pursuits

Sergeant George M. Godoy

A final common sense point in vehicle pursuits is:

Discharging a firearm at, or from, a moving vehicle is dangerous and ineffective in most cases. The use of deadly force in a vehicle pursuit will always be dictated by jurisdictional policy.

Vehicle Pursuit Questions – (All answers should be based on the above information).

1. An officer observes a vehicle drive through a red light and attempts to stop the vehicle to cite the traffic violation. The operator of the vehicle flees at a high rate of speed through heavy rush hour traffic. The officer recognizes the driver and obtained the vehicle’s license plate number. This officer’s best course of action would be:

a) pursue the vehicle because traffic violators should not be allowed to escape

b) not pursue because the vehicle operator has been identified and can be arrested later

c) not pursue because the risks outweigh the violation

d) both b and c

The correct answer is d). Because of traffic volume, the minor traffic violation involved and the officer’s identification of the suspect, the officer should not initiate a pursuit.

2. An officer is involved in a high-speed vehicle pursuit. Which of the following conditions should not be considered by the pursuing officer when deciding to continue or break off the pursuit:

a) The nature of the violation

b) The type of headlights on the fleeing vehicle

c) The volume of the traffic

d) The pursuit environment: residential, commercial, school zone, open highway

e) The population density

The correct answer is b). The remaining answers should be considered when determining whether to continue a pursuit.


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