In Wake of Recent Deaths, Police Department Revising Pursuit Policies

Sep 27, 2012

One-year-old Wesley and three-year-old Walter Maspero were killed after a suspected drug dealer that police were staking-out fled; David Rodriguez hit the vehicle that the youngsters were in at 80 mph.

Days later, 55-year-old Pedro Tenorio was killed when suspected burglars making a getaway crashed into his motorcycle.

"In both those instances, the officers had completely disengaged from the chase," said Police Chief William McManus.

McManus said the police officers did exactly what they needed to do in cases like this - to back off. Police chase policy clearly defines instances that an officer may engage in a pursuit; guidelines that include weather, traffic, school zones, road conditions, and speed.

"You have to weigh the risk of endangering the public against apprehending the offender," said McManus.

But even the best policies need review, which is why McManus said he will ask an outside agency to look at how his department handles pursuits. "Again," said McManus, "that's to reaffirm the strength of our policy."

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