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Montgomery County Police Department (Texas) Refuses to Release Chase Policy

Nearly three weeks after a police chase in Patton Village resulted in a crash that left an officer and a boy dead, the officer's small Montgomery County police department has refused to release its high-speed pursuit policy, reflecting the lack of transparency among some smaller area police agencies. Experts say that if these agencies lack pursuit policies or haven't revised them to reflect increasing concerns about the dangers to the public, it could raise the frequency of pursuits, which across the country kill an American almost every day and a police officer about every three months.

In recent years, many area police departments have responded to the public outcry over chases, tightening their policies and adding more supervision. Tom Gleason, a retired Florida police captain, has been involved in chases and now trains police officers on proper pursuit and other procedures for the Florida Public Safety Institute. Several other small police departments in the Houston area also did not respond to requests for information about their high-speed pursuit policies.

Gleason recommends that law enforcement pursuit policies only allow police chases to pursue violent felons who pose an immediate danger to the public. [...] the Houston Police Department's eight-page police pursuit policy is available to anyone who requests it under the state's public records law. According to a recent USA Today analysis of federal data, at least 11,506 people were killed nationwide during police pursuits from 1979 to 2013. Many pursuit procedures, including the model policy released by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, include specific instructions for officers: activate lights and sirens; slow down and check intersections before crossing; do not follow a suspect into opposing traffic; allow supervisors to halt the pursuit; avoid having more than two chase vehicles; and do not shoot from a moving vehicle.

Despite similar restrictions in Houston and some of the region's local police departments, the 13 crashes in the past 13 weeks are filled with tragic outcomes: two innocent motorists critically injured while police chased a stolen vehicle; a 61-year-old man killed when a fleeing suspect T-boned his car; and a high school senior who died on prom night when a suspect rammed her vehicle.

Read more here

Honor the Badge Police Training Owner Offers Pursuit Guidance

Thomas Gleason was interviewed by Fox43 out of Pennsylvania. Check out the article and video at