The 2009 volume of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training’s
(POST’s) Driver Training Study lists six police pursuit training “best practices.”
But one vital skill is missing. Can you spot it?
1) Use “hybrid training.” This should combine both behind-the-wheel closed-course driving
and advanced police pursuit training simulators.
2) Adopt advanced technology. SkidCars and law enforcement driving simulators (LEDS)
allow officers to safely experience very dangerous driving situations and practice proper
3) Train at high speeds. Most police pursuits are “high speed chases”; officers need to
practice driving at high speeds on varied terrains/conditions.
4) Train with interference vehicles. The world is not a closed course; officers need practice
avoiding moving vehicles of all sorts (as well as pedestrians, etc.).
5) Practice on what you use. Practice vehicles should be as similar to service vehicles as
possible (i.e., make, model, equipment, weight distribution, handling, etc.).
6) Prepare for rain, snow, fog, and darkness. Training should include all the visibility and
weather conditions that officers might encounter during a shift.
All of these are excellent practices. But this list of best practices focuses entirely on training
officers to safely and successfully engage in high-speed pursuit. The one item missing from this list is
the most fundamental skill of all:
7) Prepare officers to determine when a pursuit is worthwhile. Law enforcement
should de-escalate whenever possible; while officers are excellent drivers, most
suspects are not.
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