The Houston Police Department will prohibit officers from chasing minor traffic offenders who refuse to stop, says the Houston Chronicle. Sgt. Nate McDuell said the policy is aimed at limiting the number of high-speed police chases in the city. “I think the chief is limiting chases. He is saying, ‘We are not going to put officers, or the public, at risk for minor types of crimes.’ If someone runs a red light, then we won’t pursue them,” McDuell said. Officers would have discretion to pursue major offenders, such as suspected drunken drivers, or drivers who are chased into the Houston metropolitan area by other law enforcement agencies.
Houston Police Officers’ Association President Hans Marticiuc said the policy will make officers less effective. “Personally, I think it is an asinine policy at this point in the city’s history,” Marticiuc said. “First of all, we’ve already got crime going up, and now let’s tie the officers’ hands a little bit more. This is a clear message to the criminal element (to) ‘go ahead and run from the police.’ ”