Should law enforcement conduct high speed chases in residential areas? What if you were a Police Officer and on patrol, and you observe a vehicle ahead of you drive through a stop sign, strike a parked car, and speed away. You activate your emergency equipment and pursue the suspect vehicle into a residential neighborhood. The vehicle does not stop and continues to accelerate away from you.  why or why not would you continue the chase? DEBATE !!  

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In my opinion, no.  There is just not much to be gained.  The danger posed to pedestrians, property, and other motorists is much too great compared to the eventual safety of removing one criminal from the road.  Identify the vehicle, put out the description, and pick them up at a later...

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In my opinion, no.  There is just not much to be gained.  The danger posed to pedestrians, property, and other motorists is much too great compared to the eventual safety of removing one criminal from the road.  Identify the vehicle, put out the description, and pick them up at a later location.  Statistics tend to bear out the conclusion that the risk of these pursuits is too great to all involved.

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Most municipalities have policies and procedures dealing with this exact question. The underlying issue is public safety. If the car sped away and was traveling at a high rate of speed through a residential area the officer may decide to pursue because he wants and needs to affect a stop of the vehicle, for public safety reasons. What does the pursuing officer know about the perpetrator ? In other words, is this merely a traffic infraction or did the person driving the car just commit a violent felony ? If this information is known by the officer then this will dictate his level of response. In most jurisdictions, police officers must get approval via radio from the shift supervisor before they engage in a high speed pursuit.

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This is a question that comes up a lot in discussions of police work.  I think that I would try to get a very good description of the car and see if I could get other police cars to trap the car as it came out of the residential neighborhood.

If I had no reason to believe that the driver had committed a violent crime, I would decide that the risk to innocent people of a high speed chase would outweigh the benefit of catching someone who has only violated a traffic law and caused property damage.

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