Wisconsin's system for tracking dangerous police chases is riddled with holes despite mandatory reporting laws and past efforts to rein in scofflaw police agencies, reports Gannett Wisconsin Media. While police are supposed to report all chases to state authorities, many incidents are missing from state records and statistics presented to the public. The gaps effectively make Wisconsin's police chases appear safer and less common than they are. Scores of deaths and injuries since 2002 haven't been counted, including high-profile crashes that prompted lawsuits and tighter restrictions on chases in the state.
Exactly how many reported chases are missing key information, such as the number of injuries, is unknown. It's also unknown how many chases have occurred beyond the 13,800 logged since 2002. Using federal data, coroner records and news archives, Gannett identified at least 28 deaths from 2002 to 2013 that haven't been counted in Wisconsin's chase statistics. If each of these deaths were counted, the statewide police-chase death toll during the period would jump by 50 percent.