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Old 02-05-2002, 08:08 PM
Kuan's Avatar
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Should cops chase cars?

In this day and age with infrared cameras, heat sensing devices, and helicopters, do you think cops should engage in high speed pursuits? I was just watching cops (HBTV we call it, for hillybilly TV) and this guy in a van who is running from the cops T-Bones a Honda. No one was killed, but I'm sure people have been hurt by high speed pursuits. What do you think?


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Old 02-05-2002, 08:27 PM
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Well, I figure the cops could track them by helicopter and when they run out of gas jump them!

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Old 02-05-2002, 08:28 PM
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An alternative?

What about a device that is part of the engine computer control system, that when queried by a police signal ( say, from a Helicopter ) responds with a signal of a unique nature, that can then be searched for and matched up with a [override]code, that can then be used to cripple the put it into a severe limp mode...(So severe that an 80 year old lady in a Pacer could catch them) After the recovery of the vehicle the controls can be returned to normal operating parameters.

Just a thought that came to may be riddled with holes.

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Old 02-05-2002, 08:33 PM
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There is too much risk for such a technology to fall into the wrong hands. The next terrorist attack can be some signal that cripples all cars within a few km, Like an EMP bomb, not worth the risk.
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Old 02-05-2002, 09:23 PM
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I feel that anyone who runs from the police should be charged with attempted murder and get the full sentance.
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Old 02-05-2002, 09:38 PM
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You know, those smart bombs are getting pretty smart
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Old 02-06-2002, 12:51 AM
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Tough question Kuan, tougher answers.

Air support is great, IF you can get it. The choppers aren't always available. The microwave ignition cookers (yes they have them) are too good, they cook every car within the "cone" - permanently (not quite practical...yet). When they cook a car, it doesn't just slow down it's dead (no word yet on what happens to the bad guy with a pacemaker). Mandatory GPS...a bit too Big Brother for me, plus how are you gonna know which of the speeding cars is the one you want to watch???

The Swedes (I think) have been working on a little rocket cart, which carries something like an EMP, which will fry the suspect car, only problem is you still have to have that pursuit to get in a position to deploy it. There is also a system where the pursuit vehicle launches something like a harpoon, then use the pursiut vehicle to slow the pursued - same draw back plus what if you missed???

No one wants to see an innocent motorist/bystander hurt because of the actions of the fleeing driver - especially the guys/gals involved in the pursuit. Sometimes it happens, I can make no apologies, but can tell you I know for a fact that just because the pursuing vehicle may back off doesn't mean the bad guys will - in fact they will continue in the reckless manner for many miles after the pursuit is terminated.

Radios, additional units and spike strips all work great if you can have them in the right spot at the right time. Much harder said than done. When these things go to hell in a handbasket, it happens in a blink.

There are towns with "no pursuit" policies - meaning no pursuits. Guess what has happened to their crime rates. Think those citizens are any safer for it? Others have fairly restrictive policies, wherein pursuits are very limited. Guess what happens there - the pursued simply violate some traffic code, the pursuers have to terminate and the bad guys keep driving like idiots. Eventually, even without a pursuit in progress you have the type of accident initially described.

I could go on for pages, but feel my soap box straining under my weight. Time to give it a rest.

Last note...hopefully the driver was charged with two counts of murder, along with the theft of the smokes cited in Bill's post.
Mike Tangas
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Old 02-06-2002, 01:00 AM
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The only problemw ith some kind of control to killt he engine or such, is that what happens if it malfunctions on a freeway at high speed and next thing you know there is a 20 car pileup and several people dead.

That is why you cannot have sucha measure.

But a mandatory vehicle GPS tracking system could be put in place and used to track vehicles so that cops would not have to chase them.

It would see that the chasee will dirve more erratically and cause more damage knowing he is being chased, rather than thinking he is scott free, and getting busted ina clear area or when the chasee reaches their destination the police are there moments later, having been able to keep out of site and not alarm the chasee.

There are many ways you can go about this.

My personal view is that cops should chase only if safe to do so, otherwise, just call out the choppers and let them track from the air.

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Old 02-06-2002, 07:12 AM
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Jim T,

Right on! They should be charged with attempted murder and anything else that the law enforcement agency involved can think of. If they find a tail light bulb burned out, add that to the charge.


Thanks for your insight. I have always believed that if the threat of being chased down and thrown in the hoose-gow does not exist, crime rates will go out of sight.


Don't let any liberal goof ball try to stop chases. You are just asking for higher crime rates. Chase 'em down and put them UNDER the jail house. There will always be a few mistakes by police officers in chases, they are human beings, but by and large they are properly trained and properly motivated professionals doing a tough job that most of us are unwilling or unable to do.

Have a great day,
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Old 02-06-2002, 07:19 AM
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Mike, thanks for the insights. Sitting on my couch, things look a lot simpler than they really are. I did not know that it was that helicopter support was not available all the time, nor did I know that there already is a "car zapper" available.

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Old 02-06-2002, 10:03 AM
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I think hot pursuit by our police is all a part of the "tough guy" image that so many police departments seem to actively promote. By that I mean, the big, weight lifting guys with tight shirts, bulging upper arms and shaved heads. And then when they pull you over the need to project their toughness by being rude. And I think the whole chase thing harkens back to our frontier roots when the sherrif called together his posse to run down the outlaw.
In Europe, on the other hand, things strike me as very different. The cops tend to look and conduct themselves much more professionally. And for the times when a fugitive is on the run, they've successfully demonstrated that they won't be able to outrun a radio, or elude a combination roadblocks and nail strips laid across the road.
But what the's certainly not as exciting as a good chase where wou might run over a bunch of innocent people and end up crashed in a store window or somebody's living room.
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Old 02-06-2002, 11:35 AM
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A problem with having heavy charges against runners is that many times those charges are less than what they already face if they are cought, partially cause of CA's three strikes law.
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Old 02-06-2002, 06:35 PM
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I do not believe we should stop chasing bad guys. If we do, what kind of message does this send to them?

I am also not in favor of GPS tracking on cars. As stated before, there is the possibility of this technology falling into the wrong hands. Also, although I will never run from a cop or ever have any reason to, I do not like the idea that the government can know where I am at any given time of day. This starts to become an infringement on people's privacy.
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Old 02-06-2002, 06:50 PM
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Hmmmmm! If they can only make a criminal sensing car. :p
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Old 02-06-2002, 07:00 PM
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I watched on TV a new technology for police car which looks like a hand-held radar but emits ultra highfrequency that causes electronic mayhem in a car when aimed at. This is for high chase pursuits and where the targetted car just stalls with all its electronics gone to the dogs.

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