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Pursuit Termination

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 49 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2001 Pages: 30-33
Jeff Martin
Date Published
July 2001
4 pages
This article examines suspects’ driving behavior after ground units have terminated pursuit.
The article reports the results of a survey of police helicopter (air support) crews from across the country. The study analyzed data from 14 of 20 responding crews. On average, suspects continued driving dangerously for 90 seconds before slowing. An average of 50 percent of suspects continue to drive dangerously after ground units terminated their pursuits. Their continued dangerous driving was independent of the presence or absence of police units, or the decisions to continue or discontinue pursuit. The article considered that the effectiveness of using helicopters in police pursuits had been demonstrated. However, as with many other aspects of high-speed police pursuits, more extensive research using the observations of air-support crews is warranted. The article suggested that such research would require extensive participation by many air support crews across the country and each crew would need to supply standardized data after each pursuit. Until then, law enforcement professionals can use current knowledge to educate the public about the unpredictability of fleeing suspects' driving behavior.