Thursday, December 5, 2019
High speed pursuits free essay sample
Introduction The goal of this paper is to inform the public of the difficult decisions that law enforcement officers and officials have to make on a daily basis in regards to police pursuits. This also includes the potential safety risks to the public, officers and suspects that are involved or not involved in a police pursuit. This paper will also highlight the statistics of police pursuits as well as the efforts and processes that are involved in making police pursuit policies. Police pursuits are often sudden decisions that have the potential to affect many other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives. Police pursuits are a hard subject to fully understand by law enforcement and the public. Some people look at the frightening statistics that one person dies everyday, one police officer dies every 11 weeks or 1% of all line of duty police deaths are from police pursuits (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). Others look at the fact that if law enforcement doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t chase suspects that everyone one will end up fleeing if they know that no one will chase them or that serial killers will escape and kill someone else. We will write a custom essay sample on High speed pursuits or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page These are some of the issues that challenge law enforcement officials to create pursuit policies. The hope is that this information will change the publicÃ¢â¬â¢s view of police pursuits and make the public think about all the facts and circumstance before forming an opinion on police pursuits. This will affirm the hypothesis that although police pursuits are a dangerous task that law enforcement must perform in certain situations, they must be terminated on occasion due to the public and officers safety. Termination of police pursuits should take location, speed and the offense of the suspect into account before they are terminated. Pursuit Basics Records of police pursuits show many disparaging facts. The majority of all pursuits start with a traffic violation (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). A series of North American studies have concluded that once a law enforcement officer initiates a pursuit there is a forty percent chance or two in five pursuits will end in a collision (Best Eves, 2005). One out of one hundred high-speed pursuits end in a death, innocent bystanders that are in the wrong place at the wrong time account for forty two percent of people killed or injured in a police pursuit (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). Officers are in charge of protecting the publicÃ¢â¬â¢s safety, which requires serious social risks and personal risks. When an officer initiates a stop on a vehicle, if the vehicle flees, the officer will pursue. In doing this, the officer responds to the suspects actions (acting as though they have no rules) with an approach to catch him. While trying to catch the suspect, the officer has to be vastly aware of his abilities, the environment around them and the road conditions to accomplish the goal of capturing the suspect (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). The officer will have to add to his decision-making process, to continue pursuit or call it off, the risk that is being created by the suspects reckless driving. They also have to think of bystanders and actions they could impose on the situation that could influence the suspectÃ¢â¬â¢s actions. The officer must also think about the likelihood of capture in the decision to continue the chase or call it off. The officer must realize and understand that a suspectÃ¢â¬â¢s refusal to stop when lights and sirens are initiated can turn into a high-risk dangerous event where the show of authority may negatively affect the suspects driving (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). The need to win and get the arrest can be due to the adrenaline high experienced by the officer. The officer must realize that the suspect is likely having the same adrenaline rush. The suspect is fleeing to escape the consequence of the actions that got him into the situation, which was likely a minor offense (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). OfficerÃ¢â¬â¢s face many challenges trying to get the suspect vehicle stopped with so few ways to accomplish this. The officer can try a tire deflation device, a PIT (precision immobilization technique) at the right speed and location or use of deadly force (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Many policies direct officers to stop, pull over, radio in their position and drive away from the suspect to signal they have given up the chase when terminating a pursuit (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Doing this will let the suspect think he essentially won and will slow down. The suspect typically slows down after a reasonable amount of time (Schultz, Hudak, and Alpert, 2010). Why Pursuits are Initiated Surveys conducted on suspects that have been involved in a police chase show some interesting facts. Their average age was 26 years old, ninety four percent male, thirty percent ended in a crash, thirty percent stopped, and twenty five percent out ran the police (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Reasons for fleeing included thirty two percent driving a stolen car, twenty seven percent had a suspended driverÃ¢â¬â¢s license, twenty seven percent didnÃ¢â¬â¢t want to get arrested, and twenty one percent were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Seventy five percent of suspects also stated that they would slow down when they felt safe (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Feeling safe meant that they didnÃ¢â¬â¢t hear sirens or see lights for at least two blocks in town or two and a half miles on the highway (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). Pursuit Policy Police departments spend a great deal of money and time creating pursuit policies to ensure the safety of the public and department employees. Some states like Minnesota have created a policy for departments to build off of. According to Minnesota rule 6700. 2701 a pursuit is justified when: a) A vehicle operator fails to stop after being given a visual or audible signal to stop by a peace officer; and b) There is reasonable expectation of a successful apprehension of the suspect. Many states have focused on safety and departmental liability concerns but many agencies are in want and need of more inclusive written pursuit policies (Hicks, 2006). Court Cases Police pursuits have led to the Supreme Court making decisions based on past pursuits that have occurred. One of the main cases that changed state laws and policies was in Brower v. County of Inyo (1989). In this case an officer radioed ahead to set up a road block with a tractor trailer after chasing Brower for nearly 20 miles. Brower hit the tractor trailer at a high rate of speed and was killed. BrowerÃ¢â¬â¢s family filed a civil suit and it was determined that BrowerÃ¢â¬â¢s constitutional rights were violated subjecting him to an unreasonable seizure (Benoit, 2007). Injuries and Safety The largest concern that is seen in pursuit policies is safety of the public and officers involved. Most pursuit policies donÃ¢â¬â¢t mention anything about the suspect involved as it relates to safety. The topic of safety becomes an interesting subject when examining the statistics. Out of 7,737 pursuits, only nine percent or 694 incidents were documented (Lum Fachner, 2008). Those injuries included minor, serious and fatalities. The fatalities only accounted for three percent or 23 out of all the 694 incidents (Lum Fachner, 2008). When looking at statistic for injuries to public and bystanders the location of the pursuit needs to be taken into account. It is a myth that most injuries happen in urban areas (Lum Fachner, 2008). Even though the vast majority of police pursuits 72% occur in the urban environment the majority of injuries 33% happen in suburban environment (Lum Fachner, 2008). This is one area that research is not readily available due to the myth that injuries mostly happen in urban areas verse suburban areas. One also would think that road conditions would play a role in how often or serious accidents would occur during a police pursuit. If you look at the (2008) study, of Police Pursuits the incidents with injuries occurred with the following road conditions; ninety two percent occurred on dry roads, one and a half percent occurred on icy roads, a half of one percent occurred on snowy roads, and five percent occurred on wet roads (Lum Fachner, 2008). Looking at those statistics the thought of weather and road conditions playing a role isnÃ¢â¬â¢t confirmed. Looking at traffic conditions playing a role as it relates to injuries itÃ¢â¬â¢s found that over three quarters of pursuits take place in light traffic conditions (Lum Fachner, 2008). Looking at the (2008) study, of Police Pursuits the incidents with injuries occurred with the following traffic conditions; seventy one percent occurred during a light traffic period, twenty three percent occurred during a moderate traffic period, and five percent occurred during a heavy traffic period (Lum Fachner, 2008). Looking at those statistics the thought of traffic conditions playing a role isnÃ¢â¬â¢t confirmed. The one category that is found to have a strong conclusion of affecting the percentage of injuries was lighting conditions. Using the same (2008) study, of Police Pursuits the incidents with injuries thirty four percent occurred in the daylight hours, six percent occurred in the dusk or semi dark hours, and sixty percent occurred in the dark hours (Lum Fachner, 2008). The thought of lighting playing a role in injury related police pursuits is not confirmed or denied but one could make a strong argument that it does affect injuries. Suspect The average citizen that sees the news or media assumes that if someone is running from law enforcement that person has committed murder or is a serial killer. If one would look at the statistics from police pursuits they would be very disappointed and find that most are running for minor crimes (Lum Fachner, 2008). The average age of a pursued suspect is twenty-six years old and ninety four percent were males (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert 2010). About fifty percent of suspects being pursued are licensed (Lum Fachner, 2008). Looking at the final outcome of a pursuit thirty percent of pursuits are ended when the suspect crashes, another thirty percent are ended when the suspect stops and gives up, and twenty five percent end when the suspect out runs law enforcement and the pursuit is terminated (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert, 2010). Of the pursuits that have been analyzed for suspects fleeing thirty two percent were driving a stolen car, twenty seven percent had a suspended driverÃ¢â¬â¢s license, twenty seven percent wanted to avoid arrest, and twenty one percent were driving under the influence (Schulz, Hudak, and Apert, 2010). After looking at these numbers, there is no statistical support that murderers or serial killers are leading majority of the pursuits. How pursuits are terminated Law enforcement might want to think they are the main reason pursuits are ended or terminated but with history and statistics from other pursuits that have occurred itÃ¢â¬â¢s known that the suspect that is fleeing is in control. Thirty six percent of all pursuits are ended with the suspect stopping and giving up (Lum Fachner, 2008). By adding up the next two highest reason the suspect involved in a collision eighteen percent or the suspect out running or eluding law enforcement eighteen percent they are equal to the suspect stopping (Lum Fachner, 2008). The next four reasons are that either the officer, the officerÃ¢â¬â¢s supervisor or police intervention donÃ¢â¬â¢t add up to a third of the suspect stopping (Lum Fachner, 2008). Less then five percent of pursuits end with law enforcement using methods to disable the suspectÃ¢â¬â¢s vehicle (Lum Fachner, 2008). The media and television give the public the non-realistic view of police pursuits. They show the pursuit ending with a spike strip and the suspectÃ¢â¬â¢s tires deflating making the suspect come to a nice and slow stop statistics show this to only be about three and one half of one percent (Lum Fachner, 2008). The other termination method that is displayed in the media is the precision immobilization technique P. I. T. this technique is only used in special circumstances approximately (. 7%) of the time (Lum Fachner, 2008). Conclusion To sum up the research that has been completed with the question of whatÃ¢â¬â¢s more important in a police pursuit the risk of injury or the apprehension of the suspect. With all the statistics that have been found and reports that have been compiled the answer is a difficult one to fully commit to. If one would just look at the few injuries that happen you might say that is too many. Also, if one would look at the few that get away that are actual violent offenders or suspects you might say that is too many that get away. The statistics show that police pursuits are not as deadly as they are made out to be from the media. However, in the wrong situation a pursuit isnÃ¢â¬â¢t justifiable especially in low light situations like statistics report that most happen. I think with the way technology is advancing in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s day and age society will see plenty of new ideas that will change the way pursuits are handled. With that said the Iowa State Patrol is installing a new piece of equipment on their squad cars the device is called Starchase (Goudie, 2013). With this device the officer can deploy a device that looks like a foam soda pop can that stick to the back of the suspects car (Goudie, 2013). The device contains a G. P. S. Global Positioning System chip in it, which allows officers to stop pursuit and locate the suspect via the squad computer at a safer speed (Goudie, 2013). The device comes with a price tag of $5,000 and the cartages that are not reusable at $500 a piece (Goudie, 2013). Ideas like this or similar to this I believe is the best option to make everyone involved happy. The officer is able to apprehend the suspect and the public will stay safe and not have the risk of injury. The cost of the item is expensive but who says they canÃ¢â¬â¢t charge the suspect that amount of money before they are released from jail. If anything the suspect will think twice before fleeing again once they pay an extra $500 fine.