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Ventura County Perspective

Police Pursuits

April 22, 2001

Re "Simi Valley to Pay $320,000 to Woman Hurt in Police Chase," April 11.

Police pursuits are initiated as a result of criminal activity, under prescribed conditions. Yes, pursuits are dangerous and occasionally accidents occur involving innocent travelers. We feel for these victims, but what are the alternatives?

Some suggest banning the pursuit tactic. This practice would encourage more criminal flight. Bank robbers, carjackers and gang executioners would know that once their vehicle was in motion, they would be free to go.

Civil suits often arise as a result of the incidents in question--not against the violator but the officers and their department. Question: Why not against the culprit? Why is it not the law violator who should pay as part of the administrative consequence?

As a deterrent, the person with criminal intentions should know that, if necessary, he will have to pay the rest of his life for his violent conduct against the society of which he is a part.

Some contend that current consequences are too inhumane. Before arriving at that conclusion, maybe they should first confer with the victims or visit their grave sites.


Thousand Oaks

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