Dallas County Constable Michael Gothard, whose officers started a 90-minute pursuit of a speeding suspect Monday, is reviewing video from the incident to determine if any changes need to be made to his agency’s policy on chases, says the Dallas Morning News. “Should we have called it off sooner?” Gothard said. “It’s hard to make that determination. With everything I’ve seen on TV, it looks like they followed all of the protocols.” Shane Michel, 29, fled from a constable who tried to stop him for speeding. Authorities found out during the chase that Michel was wanted on a felony forgery warrant. Michel, who has a lengthy criminal history, was critically injured in a crash that ended the chase.
Many Dallas-area enforcement agencies allow officers to chase for traffic violations. The Dallas Police Department, the county’s largest law enforcement agency, strictly limits police pursuits, allowing officers to chase only violent felony suspects. “The day that we make it known that we are not going to chase, more criminals are going to run from us and the likelihood of more accidents occurring is going to be higher,” said Dallas County Constable Jaime Cortes. Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina criminologist, said that’s a prevalent myth and that research has shown that offenders are no more likely to flee after a department places restrictions on vehicle pursuits. “Most people are fleeing for stupid reasons,” Alpert said. “Police pursuits should be limited to violent crimes.”