Police Exam Practice – Vehicle Pursuits

The details presented right here is meant to be employed as a rule of thumb guideline for automobile pursuit queries on police entrance exams. Each the police written test and the oral board interview may possibly contain judgment queries regarding vehicle pursuit’s. Police agencies do not want to hire a person who disregards the safety of the public in order to cease a car for a minor site visitors violation.

Car pursuits are usually regulated by jurisdictional policies and applicable city, state, and federal laws. This post is intended to give a widespread sense strategy to vehicle pursuits based on a compilation of various police policies from several jurisdictions.

Choice To Initiate A Automobile Pursuit

The officer intending to quit a car will make each and every effort to keep away from a vehicle pursuit. Activation of lights and siren are delayed whenever possible, until the officer is close adequate that the chance to flee seems to be unavailable to the operator of the suspect vehicle.

If the operator of the suspect automobile chooses to avoid being stopped and attempts to flee, the selection to initiate a car pursuit lies with the person officer.

Specific actions taken by the operator of the fleeing car could escalate the danger to the public, the suspect operator, and the pursuing officer(s). In these circumstances, jurisdictional policy will prevail in figuring out regardless of whether a pursuit is continued or called off.

Any officer involved in a vehicle pursuit must drive with due regard for the security of all persons concerned and any exemptions granted the officer, as an authorized operator of an emergency vehicle, do not consist of protection from the consequences of that officer driving with reckless disregard for the security of other people.

A vehicle pursuit study, covering 800 municipal and county agencies, indicated that two variables have been likely to figure out support for a car pursuit:

1. The severity of the offense committed by the suspect
2. The risk to the public (visitors, road, and weather situations)

When an officer initiates a car pursuit, dispatch need to be quickly notified of:

Unit Identification
Place, Direction of Travel, Indication of Speed
Reason for the Pursuit
Suspect Automobile Description and Plate Number – if known
Quantity of Occupants and Description – if known

It is important for the officer in pursuit to guarantee the dispatcher and backup officers hear and recognize radio transmissions. Roll up windows and give regular location updates.

When a pursuit includes excessive emergency speed and emergency driving techniques, the pursuing officer have to think about:

The severity and nature of the violation
The likelihood of apprehending the suspect
The public safety hazards developed by a higher-speed pursuit
The targeted traffic encountered throughout the pursuit – volume, speed, direction
The pursuit atmosphere: residential, industrial, school zone, open highway
The population density
The familiarity with the roads being traveled
The weather and road situations
The driving ability of the officer and condition of the police automobile becoming driven

Each and every police officer need to be capable to figure out when a automobile pursuit need to not be initiated and when to break off a pursuit.

Some typical sense recommendations incorporate:

Pursuit would produce a clear and unreasonable danger to the officer, the pursued vehicle or other customers of the highway. The degree of danger and risk to public security ought to outweigh the need for instant apprehension. The suspect has been identified and apprehension can be accomplished later with no the danger of pursuit.

A final widespread sense point in car pursuits is:

Discharging a firearm at, or from, a moving automobile is dangerous and ineffective in most cases. The use of deadly force in a vehicle pursuit will always be dictated by jurisdictional policy.

Automobile Pursuit Quiz – All answers need to be based on the info above.

1. An officer observes a automobile drive by way of a red light and attempts to quit the vehicle to cite the visitors violation. The operator of the automobile flees at a high price of speed through heavy rush hour targeted traffic. The officer recognizes the driver and obtained the vehicle’s license plate quantity. This officer’s greatest course of action would be:

a) pursue the vehicle since site visitors violators need to not be allowed to escape
b) not pursue since the car operator has been identified and can be arrested later
c) not pursue because the risks outweigh the violation
d) each b and c

The correct answer is d). Since of site visitors volume, the minor traffic violation involved and the officer’s identification of the suspect, the officer ought to not initiate a pursuit.

two. An officer is involved in a higher-speed vehicle pursuit. Which of the following conditions must not be considered by the pursuing officer when deciding to continue or break off the pursuit:

a) The nature of the violation
b) The kind of headlights on the fleeing vehicle
c) The volume of the visitors
d) The pursuit atmosphere: residential, industrial, school zone, open highway
e) The population density

The correct answer is b). The remaining answers ought to be deemed when figuring out whether to continue a pursuit.

three. An officer initiating a pursuit notifies the dispatcher that a pursuit is underway and provides all the following details, EXCEPT:

a) Police unit identification
b) Location, speed and direction of travel
c) Cause for the pursuit
d) Suspect vehicle description, like license number
e) The final time the officer was involved in a automobile pursuit

The correct answer is e). Only data pertinent to the vehicle pursuit that aids the dispatcher or backup officers in the apprehension of the suspect is transmitted.

4. The Number A single issue studies have determined supporting automobile pursuits is

a) visitors and road situations
b) offense committed by the suspect
c) volume, variety, speed and direction of the traffic
d) officer’s driving talent

The appropriate answer is b). Benefits of a study indicate that law enforcement personnel and members of the public concentrate on the severity of the offense committed by the suspect when supporting a pursuit. The second most essential element was the danger to the public (defined by visitors, road conditions, and the climate).

Restricted Pursuits

Some jurisdictions have quite restrictive pursuit policies. For example, the Denver Police Division enacted a policy restricting automobile pursuits and officers are not authorized to pursue cars that:

are stolen or involved in non-violent crimes
are basically fleeing
are in violation of targeted traffic laws
are involved in hit and run accidents not involving death or severe injury

Due to the enhance in lawsuits, numerous municipalities have enacted heavy restrictions on pursuits. Nonetheless, a current poll by the US Justice Department indicates that officer initiated automobile pursuits are generally supported by the public as a quality crime ­fighting tool. 70% of these polled said pursuits were a necessary threat in the war on crime. More than half of these polled believed the choice to pursue should made by the officer and not restricted by division policy. Numerous seasoned cops believe that over-restricting their capability to conduct vehicle pursuits, severely handcuffs their ability to do powerful police function. They feel such restrictions give the negative guys one more weapon against law enforcement.


Definition of Vehicle Pursuit – An active attempt by one particular or much more police officers to apprehend a suspect who is operating a motor car and trying to avoid capture. Suspect techniques may incorporate driving at high-speeds and evasive techniques, such as driving off the roadway, generating sudden or unexpected movements or keeping a legal speed, but failing to yield to the officer’s signal to stop. Routine targeted traffic stops or other instances where officers activate emergency lights and siren and the operator stops within a reasonably brief distance are not a automobile pursuit.

When answering typical-sense inquiries about higher-speed pursuits, consider this:

No assignment is of such value and no process want be expedited with such speed, that the risk to public safety grow to be secondary. No task undertaken in the official capacity of a police officer is of such importance to justify the reckless disregard of the officer’s safety, or the security of others.

Before initiating a car pursuit, an officer need to decide if:

The suspect presents a clear and immediate threat to the safety of other individuals
The suspect has committed or is attempting to commit a serious crime
The necessity of immediate apprehension outweighs the level of danger created by pursuit

All emergency automobile operations need to be carried out in strict accordance with current statutes. When engaged in any vehicle pursuit, an officer will simultaneously use the police vehicle emergency lights and siren.
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