Police Ops Essay

Submitted By wrestler140
Words: 556
Pages: 3

Police Operations Police Pursuits and Civil Liability Although police pursuits seem to be an ordinary part of law enforcements' duties, it has in fact been a difficult problem for quite some time. Not only are they dangerous to the offender, but to the officer, and even innocent by standers as well. While forty percent of pursuits end in collisions, nearly 300 result in deaths each year. In addition to this, financial interests of the community must be taken into consideration in regards to potential taxpayer dollars. This includes costs such as, wrongful deaths, injuries, property damage, etc. Due to these unfortunate circumstances agencies are subject to civil law suits therefore a proper procedural method to limiting and controlling police pursuits must be implemented. These policies or procedures are established by CEOs of law enforcements agencies across the country in which they must find a balance between apprehending the offenders in the interest of justice, as well as the need to protect the innocent. Aside from these policies, there are certain circumstances where the decision to continue or terminate the pursuit is left up to the pursuing officer. This inconsistency then leads to further problems in that it increases that individual officer's risk for liability if he accidently injures someone in the process. Not to mention the enormous amount of money it would cost the agency which could potentially be in the millions of dollars. Experts categorize these policies as either restrictive or judgmental where the officer must abide by specific criteria or, the individual officer may decide whether or not to pursue based on certain factors. Several studies have been done in regards to this and the research resulted in various views on the topic. One study discussed four factors that an officer must consider when deciding to continue or terminate the pursuit. It focused on the attitudes of officers based on their personal beliefs in conflict with the pursuit policies of their agencies, concluding that the most important variable was the severity of the offense. Another study focused on the perspectives of offenders in police pursuits and found that the average individual who decides…