By Keely Arthur, www.wral.com
Law enforcement agencies admit that no aspect of their work has more potential for disaster than car chases. Yet, as lawmakers discuss reforming law enforcement and use of force policies, police chase tactics have largely avoided scrutiny.
In the last three years, 13 civilians have died as a result of pursuits by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, according to the agency’s own data. The number of deaths and serious injuries increases when taking into account other law enforcement agencies in the state.
“Police chases are one of the most dangerous situations a law enforcement officer will find themselves in on a daily basis,” said Dean Crisp, a retired police chief and police policy expert.
Crisp tells WRAL News that in recent years many departments across the country have changed their policies to limit police and citizen death.
“You do have some departments who have a no-chase policy, some who have limited their policies to only violent felonies and some you have more of an open policy, if you will, as it relates to chases,” Crisp said.