All of us remember police chases from the movies, which are always accompanied by bright flashing lights, adrenaline and sirens. Too bad, it’s not just a fantastic theme from the movie, but a real life experience that haunts American people and endangers their life. In relation to the latter, lawmakers have recently started to push the initiative to limit this type of law enforcement more actively.
The first thing to mention is that a police pursuit is viewed as viable opportunity to stop a criminal. Unfortunately, police pursuits often endanger not just police officers but also ordinary civilians, thus resulting in injuries and sometimes even deaths of the innocent people. Police pursuits usually occur when a criminal tries to escape the justice using a vehicle at high speed.
The police pursuits policies were first introduced in the 1970’s, because of the increase in fatal outcomes caused by the high speed chases. These policies define the limitations of the police pursuits. Nowadays, the plan of the police pursuit is agreed upon before the start of the chase based on the above mentioned policies and peculiarities of each situation where a police pursuit is applied to.
Although statistical data shows that every year the number of deaths because of police pursuits increases, the supporters of police pursuits state that a complete rejection of such pursuits will lead to the dramatic increase of the crime rates. Understanding the validity of their argument, it becomes evident that the discussion of this important matter can’t be one sided, and that police pursuits really have their pros. The main thing to understand here is whether the benefits of police pursuits overweigh the risks associated with them or not. The National Institute of Justice looked into this matter thoroughly and identified a dilemma: on the one hand, if too many restrictions are put on the police, it will endanger the civilians to the exposure of the potential perils from the behavior of the criminals. On the other hand, insufficient control over the police during a
“hot pursuit” can result in a great number of injuries and accidents.
Let’s look at the cons of police chase. 2/3 of all chases are initiated in cases of basic traffic violations, and staggering 40% of chases end in deadly accidents. The usage of helicopters could be used as a great alternative to dangerous car chases. It will reduce the risk of deaths and injuries immensely.
As for the pros of police chase, it can be stated that a lot of the criminals who engage in the chase are not just traffic violators, but also murderers and robbers, who should be taken to justice as soon as possible.
As we can see, the most rational way to conduct police chases is to switch from cars to helicopters. Until it hasn’t become our reality, such chases should be regulated strictly in order to minimize all possible consequences.
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