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Establishing a Foot Pursuit Policy: Running into Danger

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 69 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2000 Pages: 10-15
Shannon Bohrer MBA; Edward F. Davis M.S.; Thomas J. Garrity Jr.
Date Published
May 2000
6 pages
Chasing fleeing suspects on foot represents an instinctive but inherently dangerous activity for police officers and is an issue that has received insufficient attention from the law enforcement community.
Currently, there are no national statistics on foot pursuits or on police injuries and deaths during foot patrol, but collecting such statistics would raise officer awareness and encourage police agencies to train their officers in effective and safe methods of chasing fleeing suspects. Police agencies should work together to compile, analyze, and publish such information on a national level and determine policies and procedures to help officers enforce the law without unduly endangering themselves. The police department of Collingswood, N.J., has developed and implemented such a policy to set forth basic elements that officers should consider when dealing with fleeing suspects. A book on police safety recommends several safety techniques, including radioing dispatchers to advise of the officer’s location, the reason for pursuing the suspect, and the direction of the chase, as well as ensuring that suspects who flee from vehicles do not have accomplices in the car who may attack from behind. Photographs and reference notes