A record number of police pursuits zipped through Nashville streets last year, even as beefed-up safety measures caused officers to cancel more of the dangerous car chases than ever before. The increase in chases, police say, is largely a by-product of Chief Ronal Serpas’ stepped-up traffic enforcement, which resulted in a 73% surge in the number of cars pulled over by police, from 126,000 to 218,000, reports the Tennessean.
A new policy requires supervisors to explicitly approve chases and call them off if they get too dangerous. It was imposed in March 2004, weeks after a police chase ended in a fatal wreck on a busy downtown Nashville corner. Chases, which experts say are the police activity most likely to harm innocent people, have climbed 40% from four years ago. Last year, 269 police pursuits occurred in Nashville – 40 more than a year earlier.