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Police Pursuits in an Age of Innovation and Reform

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2008
115 pages
This report describes the content of the Police Pursuit Database of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which currently contains data on 7,737 police pursuits; comments on the lessons learned from developing the project; and offers recommendations for its use.
The balancing of crime control with safety and liability is a recurrent theme in police pursuits and many other police activities. An additional factor that is prominent in discussions of police pursuits in today's policing environment is an increased use of proactive deployment and managerial policing innovations since the 1990s. Thus, the balance between deterrence and safety as well as the demands of proactive police innovations frame this report. The report analyzes the current data collected by the IACP, reviews existing studies of police pursuit, discusses contemporary pursuit policies, and proposes a broader framework for thinking about pursuits in an age of innovation. Section 2 of the report explains why police pursuit policies are relevant in the current proactive policing environment that includes COMPSTAT, crime analysis, problemsolving, evidence-based policing, community policing, hot-spots patrol, and quality-of-life policing. Section 3 reviews empirical research on police pursuits, and Section 4 presents a content analysis of a sample of pursuit policies from 77 U.S. police agencies in 2007. Section 5 discusses the database, participants in the testing phase, and the pursuit data itself. Section 6 considers the lessons learned in developing and using the database during the testing phase, followed by conclusions and recommendations for the IACP and police agencies. 22 tables, 9 figures, 100 references, and appended IACP model pursuit policy, database user's manual, and questionnaire to participating agencies

Date Published: September 1, 2008