The Cincinnati Police Department has been revising its policies on high-speed chases, joining a national debate over chasing suspected criminals, including how fast cops should go, when to chase, or whether to chase at all, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Revisions began in 2009 and police now cap chase speeds at 20 mph over the speed limit. They also ended pursuits only for traffic offenses – resulting in a 60-percent decline in pursuits over the last three years, from 136 in 2009 to 56 last year.
“Over the years you could see the issue creeping up – not just for our department, but across the nation – the question of 'to pursue or not to pursue?' ” said Cincinnati Capt. Andrew Raabe. “We have a mission to accomplish, to arrest violators and make sure the public is safe, but … are some of the risks not worth taking?” Cincinnati officers violate pursuit policies about half of the time when chasing suspected criminals, according to public documents and pursuit reports reviewed by the Enquirer. Pursuits end in crashes more often than the national average. Cincinnati police averaged one pursuit every two days in 2007 compared with one chase every six-and-a-half days last year.