High Speed Pursuit Essay

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High Speed Pursuit: To Chase or Not to Chase?
Since the origin of crime, criminals have attempted to evade justice. This is evident when criminals tamper with evidence, take hostages, and attempt to flee the scene. With the introduction of the automobile, fleeing the crime scene has become dramatically simpler. As technology increases, these automobiles are safer, handle better, and go faster than ever before. The police therefore are forced into pursuit with their own automobiles, endangering the lives of officers and civilians. So the question becomes, how can pursuits be avoided and then when they do occur, how can they be shortened?
It is important to understand the root causes behind why police pursuit and high speed chases are such
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These policies generally restrict the maximum speed of the officers in pursuit, how pursuits will be managed, and when they will be terminated because of undue risk (Johnson, 2014). Generally speaking, these policies do not restrict other responding officers from racing through city streets at absurd speeds in the attempt to catch up to the pursuit or get ahead of the fleeing vehicle (Johnson, 2014). This is because currently, most police agencies have only a few tools available to them to combat high speed chases. When available, most police agencies use air support to monitor the fleeing vehicles allowing the officers on the ground to slow to a safe rate of speed and continue pursuit with caution (Fischbach, 2015). If air support is not available, precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneuvers along with objects like spike strips that deflate the fleeing vehicle’s tires are all that are available to officers responding to a high speed pursuit (Fischbach, 2015). With PIT maneuvers being unusable in traffic, that only leaves tire deflation devices which have to be set up ahead of the vehicle (Fischbach,…show more content…
While this does effectively bring down the number of pursuits and their resulting damages, it also allows criminals to escape with no challenge. Therefore, some agencies are experimenting with new ways to control pursuits and get them over with quickly and safely. The first method is through the exterior use of products like OnStar (Baker, 2008). The police contact OnStar and when they are ready, OnStar takes control of the throttle and begins to slow the vehicle to a stop where police can then take over (Baker, 2008). Another new method is the use of global positioning system (GPS) bullets. While it might sound a bit like science-fiction, GPS bullets are large tubes packed with a GPS and some adhesive that are mounted to the grill of a police cruiser and can be fired onto the back of a fleeing vehicle (Fischbach, 2015). They can be fired during a pursuit and once they are attached, police officers and slow down to a safe speed and continue to follow the vehicle using the GPS (Fischbach, 2015). While they may seem extremely high-tech and expensive, they are no more expensive than in-car video systems (Fischbach, 2015). Options like these allow officers to safely follow and apprehend the criminal without endangering themselves or the lives of innocent

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