Vehicular police pursuits are allowed for certain offenses, however, vehicular pursuits for traffic offenses are generally not authorized. A police officer has the authority, at all times, to attempt the stop of any person suspected of having committed any criminal offense or traffic violation. When deciding to pursue a police officer must consider certain factors. The police officer must reasonably believe that the violator has committed an offense of the first or second degree, or certain other offenses, or must reasonably believe that the violator poses an immediate threat to the safety of the public or other police officers. A pursuit for motor vehicle offenses is not authorized unless the violator’s vehicle is being operated so as to pose an immediate threat to the safety of another person.
A police officer’s decision to pursue a vehicle should always be undertaken with an awareness of the degree of risk to which the law enforcement officer exposes to themselves and others. The officer must weigh the need for immediate apprehension against the risk created by the pursuit.
The Westfield Investigative Group, LLC is experienced in investigating police vehicular pursuits. To date, we have conducted police procedures and police pursuit investigations in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Our investigations include reviews of the officers’ actions in the light of pursuit guidelines and standard operating procedures in the circumstances known to the officer at the time of the pursuit and the review of all forms of police pursuit documentation.
Please see our website www.westfieldinvestigative.com for additional police procedures review services including police conflict of interest matters, inadequate investigations, police officer dispatching, police emergency and non-emergency driving, police response to calls for service, police actions in roadway construction zones and other police procedures matters.