Police chase protocol

Police chase protocol

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Newschannel 6 now knows who was behind the wheel in a multi-county police chase.
Katrina Slade went from behind the wheel to behind bars Wednesday night after a chase that began in
Wichita Falls and ended in the parking lot of the Jacksboro High School football stadium.
It all began Wednesday night at 9 p.m. when D.P.S. troopers tried to make a traffic stop on Kell Blvd. in Wichita Falls.
But what protocol is in place for law enforcement in situations like those?
For the Wichita Falls Police Department, Sgt. Harold McClure said many factors come into play.
    "You have to look at time of day, weather conditions, road conditions, traffic conditions and where it is taking place," Sgt. McClure said.
Dan Buesing, a D.P.S. Sergeant, agrees.
    "The number one thing is public safety," Sgt. Buesing said. "When a car is evading and fleeing from law enforcement, it's always unpredictable."
D.P.S. has one tactical procedure they find effective.
    "Most times it's a group of officers helping with the evading vehicle and our spike strips," Sgt. Buesing said. "And, most times, it will get that vehicle stopped."
Sgt. McClure said the department will help in a pursuit if it meets their protocol, but will stand down if not.
Ultimately it is about public safety.
    "With highway patrol there is no policy as far as what speed you can and cannot drive," Sgt. Buesing said. "It is whatever you need to make the arrest and keep the public safe."
    "You have to ask yourself is it more dangerous to the public to pursue them," Sgt. McClure asked. "Or is it more dangerous to the public to allow them to get away? If we feel they are an immediate danger to the public, our willingness to pursue them may extend."
Sgt. Buesing and Sgt. McClure both said speed used by an officer or trooper is a judgement call.
But if it is too dangerous, they will call it off.

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