After a recent, unsuccessful chase, there is mud on the police. Or, at least on one of their patrol cars. Media accounts report that a deputy working for the Precinct 5 Constable’s Office lost control when chasing a suspect during the early morning hours of Thursday, December 17, 2015. While pursuing a motorist, the deputy chased the vehicle to the area of Old Richmond Road at Eldridge Parkway. There, the deputy crashed into a field after jumping the curb. The cruiser ended up stuck in the mud.
The good news from this incident is that no one was injured. But, the issue of police chases has been the subject of scrutiny because of several wrecks that hurt people.
The issue is simple: on the one hand, police officers desire to engage in high-speed chases to apprehend suspects; on the other, this process imposes the risk of serious injury or death. Moreover, those harmed by high-speed chases are not merely the fleeing suspects or even the pursuing police officers. The zone of danger is broader, encompassing other motorists-and their passengers-who are innocently using the public roadways.
The dangers of high-speed police chases are well-known and documented. And this concern is not limited to our community; instead, it affects people all across the country. Many police departments have found effective protocols that efficiently apprehend those evading the law while proceeding in a safe fashion. It is time, now, before anyone else is injured or killed, for our local authorities to revisit their policies and improve them with the lessons learned by countless governmental agencies across America.