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Pursuit Management Task Force

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1998
3 pages
Publication Series
The Pursuit Management Task Force (PMTF) of the National Institute of Justice's Office of Science and Technology reports on the entire range of police vehicular pursuit issues, including preemption of disputes, control of pursuits in progress, and termination of pursuits.
Due to resources and methodological constraints, the scope of the study was restricted to nine western States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The task force believes that the quality of data received from the various participating Federal, State, and local agencies could be applied generally to agencies nationwide. Information was obtained from surveys completed by police agencies, line officers, and the general public regarding pursuits and technologies. Data collection and analysis focused on current operational practices, procedures, and policies related to pursuits, community issues and concerns, legal issues, and vehicle-stopping technologies. The PMTF found that more than 50 percent of all pursuit collisions (as reported by agencies statewide) occurred during the first 2 minutes of a pursuit. More than 70 percent of all collisions occurred before the sixth minute of a pursuit. This information is significant in that it illustrates that a pursuit technology must be able to be rapidly deployed and used in order to have a significant impact in preventing pursuit-related collisions. Technologies were grouped into five categories: electrical, mechanical, chemical, cooperative, and sensory. Types of technologies in each category were reviewed for their usefulness in law enforcement pursuit applications. The PMTF recommends that adequate resources be allocated to continue, expand, and accelerate research, development, testing, and commercialization of viable pursuit technologies and to support continued technology transfers from defense to civilian law enforcement. Further, the following technologies should be given high priority and moved quickly and aggressively to prototype stages for evaluation: retractable direct injection electrical systems; radiative electrical systems; cooperative systems with law enforcement activation; and auditory/visual sensory enhancements (improved warning devices). Also, a national model for the collection of pursuit statistics should be developed. States should consider legislation that ensures that fleeing from a lawful attempt at detention/arrest in a motor vehicle is a serious crime.

Date Published: August 1, 1998