The Cincinnati Police Department has a fairly modern policy for when police can initiate and continue a traffic pursuit. But this policy definitely hasn’t stopped the cops from making hasty decisions and occasionally getting involved in accidents as a result. As a matter of fact, city police chases end in accidents far more often than the national average, despite these stricter policies, according to Cincinnati.com.
Back in 2007, city police averaged a chase every two days. Now that rate is down to one chase every 6.5 days. The decrease is due, in part, to many procedural changes over the past several years.
Following a few high profile police-chase accidents, officials decided something needed to change. In 2009, a team of 25 officers researched local police chases and those around the nation, coming up with recommended changes including:
- Ending chases for traffic infractions, unless the driver was putting others at risk
- Ending the use of “stop sticks”
- Ending chases when they crossed city limits, unless otherwise approved by a supervisor.
These new rules went into effect in May 2010 and resulted in an immediate reduction in chases. But, despite the reduction, 27% of chases were still initiated for a traffic infraction, against new policy.
In addition, the rule changes didn’t affect the amount of accidents that occurred during police chases. Before the change, accidents occurred 34% of the time. After the change, the amount was 38%.
The city again revised its policies in May 2011 when they decided to stop chases that went 20 mph over the posted speed limit. But, the Cincinnati Enquirer found that officers routinely violated the new rules.
Even after the second rule change, officers continued to chase people for traffic violations (four times), and crashes happened in 34.6% of the chases. Perhaps worst of all, 11.5% of the resulting accidents ended in injury or death, a figure above the national average of 9%.
When a police chase occurs, the Cincinnati Police Department has a fairly stringent review policy in place, where a supervisor examines each and every pursuit to ensure it was in alignment with the policies. Though their reactions to those who didn’t follow policy are not always consistent, the city is still said to have one of the most comprehensive policies on police chases.
Police chases begin when someone makes a rash and hasty decision that they don’t want to go to jail. Often what begins as a traffic stop continues into a pursuit because the driver has a warrant, is on a suspended license, or has drugs in the car. But what they fail to consider in this spur of the moment decision, is that they will likely be caught and will then face additional charges for fleeing.
If you are accused of fleeing or avoiding arrest and need an aggressive advocate on your side in court, contact our offices today for a free consultation on your case.