Killer Pursuits

Rating: NNNNNNumber of chases reported by Toronto police between 1996 and September 2001: 1,144Number involving collisions: about halfNumber involving personal.


Rating: NNNNN

Number of chases reported by Toronto police between 1996 and September 2001: 1,144

Number involving collisions: about half

Number involving personal injury: one in three

Number involving damage to property: four in 10

Number involving injuries to innocent third parties: about 5 per cent (not including pedestrian deaths)

Number resulting in deaths: 8

JOHNNY, GET YOUR CARJOHNNY, GET YOUR CAR

Number of cop chases investigated by the police watchdog special investigations unit (SIU) in Ontario since 1991: 653

Number of firearms-related incidents investigated by the SIU: 172

Number of cop chases resulting in deaths: 101

Number of firearms-related incidents resulting in deaths: 51

WHAT THE REGS SAY WHAT THE REGS SAY

Pursuits should only be initiated when there are no other alternatives.

Police should only pursue a vehicle if the need to identify the driver outweighs the risk to public safety.

Police should continuously reassess the risk to public safety during a pursuit.

Unmarked police vehicles should not engage in police pursuits.

Vehicle contact is allowed “for the purposes of stopping (a pursued vehicle) where the officer believes that to do so is necessary to protect against loss of life or serious bodily harm.”

Proportion of police chases terminated by T.O. since stricter regs came into effect in 2000: about 20 per cent

THE TRAINING GAP THE TRAINING GAP

Year Ontario Police College started training recruits in pursuit driving: 1982

What current training includes: two four-and-a-half-to-six-hour training sessions (which include a video, manual and test)

What training officers in the U.S. receive: 40 to 80 hours

ALTERNATIVES TO PURSUIT used BY OTHER FORCESALTERNATIVES TO PURSUIT used BY OTHER FORCES

Tire deflation devices

Electronic device that interrupts flow of fuel to car being pursued

Laser gun, accurate to three-quarters of a mile, that disables engine of car being pursued

WHAT AN RCMP STUDY SAYS WHAT AN RCMP STUDY SAYS

Too often pursuits are dangerous and undertaken for relatively minor offences like traffic violations.

Proportion of chases initiated by Toronto police because of traffic or non-criminal offences: about 30 per cent

WHAT THE POLICE UNION SAYSWHAT THE POLICE UNION SAYS

“There’s always a concern. If we can find better ways of doing it we’re always willing to look at them. But there are criminals out there, and if they know they could just take off (without being pursued) what’s to say there aren’t going to be more accidents?” — Police union head Craig Bromell

WHAT TORONTO POLICE SAY WHAT TORONTO POLICE SAY

No comment.

Cop chases have resulted in 101 deaths since 1991

New regs were supposed to put a stop to cop chases before they got dangerous. But out in the mean streets, police continue to use their cars as weapons. IN FACT, Hot pursuits cause more deaths and serious injuries than cop gunplay.

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