Suffolk Pursuit Policy

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<ul><li><p>SUFFOLK POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE </p><p>VEHICLE PURSUITS </p><p>NUMBER: 3-39 DATE: January 2,2015 </p><p>DISSEMINATION: All Employees </p><p>BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE </p><p>SUPERSEDES: </p><p>Thomas E. Bennett -;1'~ DATE: </p><p>Special Order 12-13 (SPD 3-39 Section III.E) SPD 3-39 Vehicle Pursuits </p><p>CONTENTS I. Purpose II. Policy III. Definitions IV. Justifications for Pursuit V. Jurisdictional Authority VI. Considerations for a Pursuit VII. Prohibitions VIII . Termination IX. Primary Officer Responsibilities X. Secondary Officer Responsibilities XI. Supervisor Responsibilities XII. Emergency Communications Operator Responsibilities XIII. Pursuit Vehicle Operation XIV. Roadblocks. XV. Pursuits Involving Other Jurisdictions XVI. Medical Assistance XVII. Pursuit Critique and Review XVIII. Analysis </p><p>June 6, 2013 January 11 , 2013 </p></li><li><p>SPD 339: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 1/2/2015 </p><p>I. Purpose </p><p>The purpose of this policy is to define the parameters of Depaliment-authorized automobile pursuits. </p><p>II. Policy </p><p>It shall be the policy of the Suffolk Police Department that all personnel operating Department vehicles shall exercise due regard for the safety of all persons. No task, call or incident justifies the disregard of public safety. All Department personnel who operate police vehicles will comply with safe driving procedures with particular attention to engaging in pursuits. (Refer to 46.2-920 of the Code of Virginia.) </p><p>III. Definitions </p><p>A. Authorized Emergency Vehicle: a Depaliment vehicle equipped with operable emergency equipment as designated by law. </p><p>B. Flagrantly Reckless Driving: For the purpose of this policy, flagrantly reckless driving includes, but is not limited to, the following: </p><p>1. Colliding with other vehicles. </p><p>2. Forcing other vehicles to take evasive action in order to avoid a collision. </p><p>3. Driving in excess of 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit or in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the applicable speed limit. </p><p>C. PrimalY Unit: the police unit which initiated a pursuit or ally unit which assumes control of the pursuit. </p><p>D. Secondary Unit: the police vehicle which becomes involved as backup to the primary unit and follows the primary unit. </p><p>E. Vehicular Pursuit: ally attempt by an officer in an authorized emergency vehicle to apprehend a fleeing motor vehicle with emergency equipment activated, when the fleeing suspect is attempting to elude police. The determination of a pursuit shall be based upon the officer's articulable belief that the vehicle operator has exhibited an awareness that the officer is attempting to make a traffic stop. The attempt to elude may be detennined by factors including but not limited to: </p><p>1. Increase of Speed 2. Evasive Maneuvers 3. Disregard of traffic controls 4. Obvious recognition ofthe Officer behind the vehicle by the operator 5. It is the officers belief, based upon the above factors, that the driver is </p><p>attempting to elude </p><p>Page2of13 </p></li><li><p> SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 112/2015 </p><p>F. Motor Vehicle: a motor vehicle, for the pUlposes of this policy, is a motorcycle, automobile, truck or bus. A bicycle or moped shall not be deemed a motor vehicle. </p><p>IV. Justifications for Pursuit </p><p>A. A vehicular pursuit may be initiated by an officer who has a reasonable belief, based on articulable facts, that the suspect: </p><p>I. Has committed a violent felony prior to the pursuit. </p><p>2. Is currently DUIIDUID based on observations pl10r to the pursuit. </p><p>3. Has committed a firearms offense prior to the pursuit. </p><p>4. Is operating the vehicle in a flagrantly reckless manner prior to the pursuit as observed by the officer and/or corroborated by other information. </p><p>B. Pursuits shall not be initiated for a violation of a city ordinance, a traffic violation, or a misdemeanor other than those identified in Section IV(A). </p><p>V. Jurisdictional Authority: </p><p>A. Jurisdictional authority involving the pursuit of fleeing suspects is dictated by Virginia Code Section 19.2-77, Escape, flight and pursuit; arrest anywhere in the Commonwealth, which states the following: </p><p>"Whenever a person in the custody of an officer shall escape or whenever a person shall flee from an officer attempting to arrest him, such officer, with or without a warrant, may pursue such person anywhere in the Commonwealth and, when actually in close pursuit, may arrest him wherever he is found. If the arrest is made in a county or city adjoining that from which the accused fled, or in any area of the Commonwealth within one mile of the boundary of the county or city from which he fled, the officer may forthwith return the accused before the proper official of the county or city from which he fled. If the arrest is made beyond the foregoing limits, the officer shall proceed according to the provisions of 19.2-76, and if such alTest is made without a warrant, the officer shall procure a warrant from the magistrate serving the county or city wherein the arrest was made, charging the accused with the offense committed in the county or city from which he fled." </p><p>B. A police officer may pursue a suspect into NOlih Carolina when the original charge is felonious. The officer may place this individual under arrest, but must take himlher to a magistrate of proper authority in NOlih Carolina. The officer may not bring this suspect back into the Commonwealth of Virginia until the suspect waives hislher right or a Governor grants extradition. The officer may not pursue the suspect into North Carolina on the basis of a misdemeanor charge and a subsequent felony eluding charge arising from the pursuit itself. </p><p>Page 3 of 13 </p></li><li><p>SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 1/2/20 I 5 </p><p>VI. Considerations for a Pursuit [41.2.2(a)] </p><p>A. When a police officer begins pursuit of a fleeing vehicle, he or she must remember that citizens using public highways do not expect their travel to be interrupted by a high speed chase or to become involved in an accident as a consequence. </p><p>B. The decision to begin, responsibility for continuing, and the choice of method of pursuit rests primarily with the individual officer(s) involved. In deciding, the officer is faced with a dilemma because, although the law does not prevent the officer from using emergency speeds while engaged in pursuit, it does hold the officer criminally and civilly responsible. Therefore, officers must exercise sound judgment and carefully consider the seriousness of the offense, the possible consequences, and the safety of citizens. Such considerations shall include: </p><p>1. What is the possibility of apprehension? </p><p>2. Will the pursuit take place on residential sh'eets, a business district, or on IUral roads? </p><p>3. Street and traffic conditions, to include pedestrian traffic. </p><p>4. The weather conditions. </p><p>5. Road conditions and lighting (visibility.) </p><p>6. Balancing the pursuit's danger to the public against allowing the suspect to escape. </p><p>VII. Prohibitions </p><p>A. Officers shall not operate a vehicle at a rate of speed that may cause loss of control. The Department expects an officer to end the pursuit whenever the risks to his or her own safety, or to the safety of others, outweighs the danger to the community if the suspect is not apprehended. </p><p>B. Officers shall not intentionally ram, bump, collide with a fleeing vehicle nor shall officers pull alongside such vehicles in an attempt to force them off the road or into an obstacle. </p><p>[41.2.3] </p><p>C. The use of firearms in an attempt to stop or disable fleeing vehicles is not permitted. </p><p>D. There will be no attempt to pass another police unit involved in a pursuit unless the passed unit is aware of the maneuver and is handing over the pursuit to the passing vehicle. </p><p>Page 4 of 13 </p></li><li><p>SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 1/2/2015 </p><p>E. There shall be no units paralleling the pursuit route unless authorized by a supervisor. Paralleling the pursuit occurs when an officer operates his vehicle as an emergency vehicle on a route that parallels the pursuit. </p><p>F. Officers, when accompanied by civilian passengers, shall not engage in pursuits. </p><p>G. In case of pursuit, should the violator enter a one-way street against the flow of traffic, or drive down the wrong side of a major highway, the pursuing officer shall not follow the violator but instead transmit via radio detailed observations about the suspect vehicle's location, speed and direction of travel. Units in the likely path of a pursuit shall attempt to wam other motorists, and prevent traffic from proceeding into the potentially affected area when possible. </p><p>H. Officers shall not use lighting equipment (spot lights, flashlights, etc) to attempt to blind the driver of a pursued vehicle while the vehicle is in motion. </p><p>I. Civilian personnel, Traffic Assistance Officers and Parking Enforcement Officers are prohibited from engaging in pursuits. </p><p>VIII. Termination [41.2.2(g) I </p><p>A. A supervisor may direct that the pursuit be terminated. If the pursuing officer receives such an order to discontinue the pursuit he or she shall do so immediately and acknowledge the order. </p><p>B. Pursuits shall be terminated in the following situations: </p><p>1. Any pursuit that violates previously described sections of this policy. </p><p>2. When the evaluation of legal, procedural, and enviromnental factors preclude a pursuit, including but not limited to the consideration of the totality of circumstances and the creation of unreasonable hazards (e.g., a traffic violation occurs in a school zone during the time school is dismissing, and excessive speeds or evasive tactics are used.). </p><p>3. Situations in which the officer knows or reasonably should have known that the potential halID to persons and propelty arising from the pursuit outweighs the potential harm threatened by the escaping offender. </p><p>4. Situations in which there is malfunction of police equipment or the police vehicle (e.g., blue lights go out, siren fails, brake problems, radio equipment failure/loss of communication, etc.). </p><p>5. Situations in which the offender is identified, and the failure to apprehend the offender during the pursuit poses no immediate threat of death or serious injury to another person. </p><p>Page 5 of l3 </p></li><li><p>SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 1/2/2015 </p><p>IX. </p><p>X. </p><p>6. The distance between the pursuing officer and the violator is so great that further pursuit is futile. </p><p>7. The officer loses visual contact with the violator for an extended period of time. </p><p>Primary Officer Responsibilities [41.2.1(b)) </p><p>A. The officer's primary responsibility in a pursuit is the safe operation of the authorized emergency vehicle. </p><p>B. The primary officer shall notify the Emergency Communications Center of the following, ifknown: </p><p>1. The reason for the pursuit; </p><p>2. License number and description of the vehicle; </p><p>3. Number of suspects in vehicle; </p><p>4. Location and direction of travel; </p><p>5. Speed ofthe pursuit; and </p><p>6. Any other pertinent information. </p><p>C. The primary officer shall continuously update Communications via radio of the above conditions. The primary officer shall be responsible for all radio traffic until a secondary unit arrives and joins the pursuit. </p><p>D. The primary officer shall ensure that the in-car camera system, if installed, is activated at the time of the pursuit. </p><p>Secondary Officer Responsibilities [41.2.2( c)) </p><p>A. Secondary Officers </p><p>1. When a second officer enters the pursuit, that officer shall take over use of the radio in broadcasting information on the pursuit as well as assist the primary officer in making the arrest. </p><p>2. The secondary officer shall replace the primary officer in the event that the primary officer is unable to continue the pursuit. </p><p>3. When two vehicles are involved in a pursuit, each unit shall maintain a safe distance especially when passing through intersections. </p><p>Page 6 of 13 </p></li><li><p>SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 112/2015 </p><p>XI. </p><p>4. The secondary officer shall ensure that hislher in-car camera system, if installed, is activated at the time that he/she joins the pursuit. </p><p>B. Other Officers </p><p>1. Other police vehicles shall not Jom m the pursuit unless authorized by a supervisor. </p><p>2. Additional units may participate, but only under orders from the patrol supervisor on duty. Based upon the seriousness of the suspected crime of the vehicle's occupants (i.e. murder, robbery) and the number of occupants within the vehicle, the on-duty supervisor may permit additional units to engage in the pursuit. </p><p>3. Patrol units in a zone adjacent to a pursuit, or in the most likely path of the pursuit should: </p><p>a. Position themselves, within their zone, so as to locate the violator should the pursuing unit lose sight of the vehicle being pursued. </p><p>b. Move into a position to assist with the apprehension should it take place within the zone. </p><p>c. Place themselves in a strategic position, without blocking the roadway, in order to warn the public and attempt to slow the fleeing vehicle. </p><p>d. Not join the pursuit unless they will assume the role of primary or secondary pursuing unit, unless othelwise directed by a supervisor. </p><p>e. Officers shall accomplish a-d (above) without acting as emergency vehicles (without lights and siren and in accordance with traffic laws). Officers must understand the distinction between changing location to assist and paralleling the pursuit, which is prohibited. </p><p>4. Every additional officer shall ensure the activation of his or her in-car camera system recording mechanism, if one has been installed. </p><p>Supervisor Responsibilities [41.2.2(e)] </p><p>A. The initiating officer's duty supervisor shall monitor the pursuit and respond to the scene of termination ifthe pursuit is tenninated by collision or surrender. </p><p>B. The supervisor shall end the pursuit at any time they feel circumstances warrant. </p><p>C. Only a supervisor shall approve the use of a roadblock when appropriate. </p><p>Page 7 of 13 </p></li><li><p>SPD 3-39: VEHICLE PURSUITS EFFECTIVE DATE 112120 I 5 </p><p>XII. Emergency Communications Operator Responsibilities [41.2.2(f)] </p><p>The Emergency Communications Operator shall: </p><p>A. Advise all other units of the pursuit and the information given by the pursuing officer. </p><p>B. Assist in directing back-up units to strategic locations. </p><p>C. Order the police radio cleared of all but emergency traffic. </p><p>D. Alert all other nearby law enforcement agencies of the pursuit and information given by the pursuing officers when continuing beyond the city limits. </p><p>E. Query DMV, VCIN, and NCIC for license data and any outstanding warrants. </p><p>F. Obtain all other information available based on the information given. </p><p>G. Transmit any known infOlmation to the officers involved in the pursuit (including but not limited to changing road conditions, road closures, etc.) </p><p>H. Communicate all pertinent information to other jurisdictions, when necessary. </p><p>XIII. Pursuit Vehicle Operation </p><p>A. All authorized emergency vehicles involved in any pursuit must have their emergency lights and siren activated during the pursuit. </p><p>B. Intersections </p><p>Intersections are a particular source of danger. Any officer, when approac...</p></li></ul>