Brett Hall, wavy.com
Norfolk City Council has preliminarily approved allowing police to again engage in high-speed pursuits in order to arrest someone driving a stolen car.
The move is a reversal from the current policy City Council ordered just last June, which only permits high-speed police chases for suspects accused of causing serious injury or death to another or displaying a handgun in a crime.
On Tuesday, Police Chief Larry Boone requested City Council amend the pursuit policy he referred to as “one of the most restrictive in the state,” in order to help the department combat an increase in car thefts. He said while he understands the policy was put into place in the name of police reform — following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police — 18 months has revealed a lot.
“We as an organization, we embrace police reform,” Boone said. “But I think we might have overreached to some degree.”
Boone said currently, when officers see a stolen car, they will attempt to commence a traffic stop. But too often, the suspect vehicle will speed away as the officer approaches. Because of the policy, that often ends the encounter.