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 a problem before solutions can be generated. Some speculate that it is merely a product of more vehicles on the road and easier access for criminals to these vehicles. Devallis Rutledge (2014) speculates that instead, Hollywood is to blame. Rutledge believes that the overuse of police pursuits in blockbuster movies has led to an increase in criminals fleeing (2014). Seeing the villain in movies elude capture by speeding through streets packed with traffic, causing the police to crash into one another allowing the bad guys to escape, has led to this misconception that it is actually possible to outrun not only the police cars, but their radios and helicopters (Rutledge, 2014). The reality is genuinely not that simple. The police are a network of officers that are much more coordinated than the movies would have you believe. In 2014, Richard Johnson published an article that showed that while a fleeing criminal is focused on evading the cops directly behind them, several other officers g...
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...hey 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 bystanders.
It is unlikely that vehicular pursuits will ever cease to exist. Even as technology gets better and better, the technology available to criminals gets better as well. The stakes will continue to climb higher as vehicle become faster and more maneuverable. Therefore, it is essential for police agencies to enact policies and utilize techniques that protect the safety of their officers and the safety of the general public.
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