There is a push for police agencies across to reconsider their pursuit procedures in light of the rising death toll from high-speed police chases.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of individuals killed in crashes involving police chases in Texas each year has been rising. In 2021, there were 72 deaths, more than twice as many as there were in 2011, when there were only 34 deaths. All around the nation, this is a trend.
Federal accident data indicates that around 350 individuals are killed in police pursuits in the US on average each year.
Among those onlookers was Fort Worth resident Andre Craig, 57. Craig was killed in a car accident that occurred in July as Fort Worth police were pursuing a reported stolen vehicle.
Police Chart For Fort Worth
According to police records, 96% of the times a Dallas police officer chased a vehicle over the previous five years, it was because the suspect had a gun or had committed a criminal. This is consistent with the Dallas police chase policy, which is available for reading online.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, these gadgets are a useful tool but cannot end every police pursuit. Departments should implement more stringent pursuit practices, according to recent studies.
According to a federal government-released research from the Police Executive Research Forum in September, law enforcement agencies should only begin a pursuit if there has been a violent crime and the suspect poses an immediate threat.
Director of the Institute for Law Enforcement and retired police captain Matt Clem stated that while he believes this suggested pursuit strategy is a good policy for some departments, it is not a good policy for all.
Esther Seoanes has spent the last ten years looking for ways to lessen the risk associated with police pursuits. Ever since her spouse, James Williford, an innocent bystander, was slain in an intense police pursuit in Austin, she has been dedicated to this purpose.
A stolen truck was being chased by Austin police at a high rate of speed in 2012 when the suspect blew a red light and collided with Williford’s automobile.
Seoanes holds the suspect and the department’s pursuit strategy accountable for her husband’s passing.