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IMPD working out details of new car chase policy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- An early morning chase by IMPD is again highlighting the changes coming to the department’s chase policy—changes that have been talked about for months, but have yet to be unveiled in specifics by the department.

IMPD says it’s not sure when that policy will be ready to roll out as top brass are still hammering out the details.

For the past several months, IMPD has been reviewing the department’s vehicle pursuit policies, which are the guidelines that say when an officer is allowed to chase a suspect. On average, the department says it has at least one car chase a day.

‘That’s one of the things the Chief looked at is trying to drive down the number of pursuits to ensure we’re safely pursuing those who are truly a danger to our community,” said IMPD Major Rich Riddle.

Friday morning, officers chased a vehicle on the city’s northwest side, using stopsticks to finally bring the suspect car to a halt. Officials say making the choice to pursuit is always a judgment call.

“It’s a balancing test to weigh whether or not the risk of continuing a pursuit outweighs the cost of safety,” said Riddle.

Last year, a 23-year-old man was killed when a suspect fleeing police ran a red light and struck his car.

That kind of situation is what IMPD hopes to avoid with this revised policy, which officials already admit will raise the threshold of when an officer is allowed to give chase.

“The last thing that we want to happen is for an officer to be involved in a pursuit, chasing someone dangerous, and for a very large or fatal accident to occur,” said Riddle. “What we’re trying to do is mitigate those risks and only pursuit those individuals that are truly a danger.”

IMPD says once the policy is finalized, all of its officers will then have to be trained on the new procedures. The review committee, however, did hand over its final findings and recommendations to Chief Troy Riggs last week.