Police make high stakes decision to cut to the chase

(WXYZ) - It seems like around every corner, you might encounter police in hot pursuit. 

Some cops chase, some don't. 

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw says they don't want to tell the bad guys and bad girls which departments those are for obvious reasons.  Pursuit policies vary by departments but are generally based on FBI guidelines. 

The officer on the scene must consider these issues:

  • How serious is the crime
  • Are deadly weapons involved?
  • The speed and location of the chase

As a check and balance, a supervisor can terminate the chase, also.

These are tough calls, made in the heat of the moment.  Lt. Shaw also says it can be a no-win situation for police. 

When they chase and there is a crash they are criticized and when the don't chase and there are more crimes, they are criticized. 

A spokesperson for AAA Michigan gave 7 Action News this statement: AAA believes that hot pursuit is appropriate only when pursuing drivers suspected of committing a violent felony.  In the interests of traffic safety, hot pursuit should generally be avoided, especially where modern communications and other advanced technology could be equally effective.  AAA urges enforcement agencies to develop and administer uniform hot pursuit training procedures and guidelines governing initiation, termination, ramming, use of warning signals and discharge of firearms.

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