High-speed pursuits too risky for public

Published 6:11 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

High-speed police pursuits too often end tragically and it’s easy to argue they usually aren’t worth the risk they pose to the public.

Jackson Police Cmdr. Tyree Jones told The Associated Press a pickup truck was fleeing Hinds County sheriff’s deputies when the driver slammed into a Pontiac sedan just before 8 p.m. Friday, killing three people in the car.

The truck’s driver and a passenger were taken to a Jackson hospital, but Jones says their injuries aren’t life-threatening.

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Jones said the truck’s driver evaded a roadblock being run by sheriff’s deputies.

It’s possible the driver was fleeing because he had drugs in his possession. Or maybe there was a warrant out for his arrest. But those crimes aren’t worth the risk posed by a high-speed pursuit.

The other alternative is to let them speed away, knowing they are breaking the law. That doesn’t seem like responsible enforcement of the law.

But pursuing drivers while other vehicles or pedestrians are present isn’t responsible either. There has to be a better way to resolve situations like these.

Law enforcement agencies need clear policies on when to engage a fleeing vehicle and when not to.