Law-Enforcement Pursuits: Managing the Risks
Newly available technology can help reduce many of the risks associated with police vehicle pursuits, but many police departments are unaware of how to use the technology, and some improperly deploy it. However, better education about technology use can help make pursuits shorter and slower, and thus far less risky.
One of the most important tools to reduce pursuit risks is the Tire Deflation Device, which can help safely reduce a pursued car’s speed. The devices cost only around $400 each, which makes them a sound investment that pays for itself through collision and injury declines.
Helicopters are also an effective tool for reducing the time and risk involved in vehicle pursuits by monitoring suspects’ activities and alert ground officers when the suspects abandon their vehicles and where.
The Pursuit Intervention Technique, which requires the police driver to ram the pursued car, is also effective, but must be used only with careful training.
However, experts also note that officers need to be trained to maintain the safety of the roadways, surrounding drivers, and pedestrians, above their desire to capture the suspect engaged in the pursuit.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from PoliceOne.com (11/20/06); Yates, Travis.