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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161836 Find in a Library
Title: Police in Pursuit: Policy and Practice
Author(s): G Alpert
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Audiovisual Program
Box 6000 Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This video presents a lecture by Geoff Alpert on his NIJ- sponsored research that examined a variety of issues related to the policy and practice of police vehicular pursuits, including the outcomes of police pursuits, the offenses that occasion pursuits, reasons why suspects run from the police, police attitudes toward pursuits, and departmental policy toward pursuits.
Abstract: Data were obtained from a survey of a national sample of police agencies regarding their pursuit policies and experience; a review of pursuit-related forms in a cross-section of police departments; and interviews with police recruits before and after assuming their duties as officers, police supervisors and line officers, and successful and unsuccessful suspects who had run from the police. The findings show that most pursuits are for traffic offenses, followed by suspected felony offenses. Some 63 percent of pursuits result in apprehensions. Approximately 41 percent of pursuits end in suspect crashes, and 15-20 percent result in injuries. Suspects report that they ran from the police either because they were driving a stolen car, had a suspended driver's license, were under the influence of alcohol, wanted to avoid arrest, or were afraid of being beaten by police officers. Once suspects began to run from police, they rarely stopped voluntarily; they either crashed, were forcefully stopped by police, or escaped. Most suspects reported that once they felt safe from police pursuit, they would slow down and blend in with the speed of traffic. Most would go to their homes. After being involved in policing for a number of years, most police officers become more cautious about engaging in pursuits for suspected traffic offenses. For some police, however, a fleeing suspect becomes a challenge and a personal affront to their authority, thus motivating them to pursue for any offense. Most officers prefer a clear and detailed policy on pursuits, based on research and analysis. Officers tend to be uncomfortable with having to make split-second judgments based on their own criteria for pursuits. Alpert notes that with the exception of stolen vehicles, the securing of a license number may preclude the necessity of a pursuit, since most suspects go to their homes. Police video cameras facilitate the securing of license plate numbers. Questions and answers follow the lecture.
Main Term(s): Police pursuit driving
Index Term(s): Police Brutality; Police policies and procedures; Resisting arrest
Note: Color VHS video, 50 minutes.; from the "NIJ Research in Progress" series.
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