High speed chases spike; police protocol

Terre Haute police say they were involved in 23 high-speed chases last year. That's about two a month. But last week that number spiked with two in just one week.

Posted: Dec 5, 2017 7:30 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute police say they were involved in 23 high-speed chases last year. That's about two a month.

But last week that number spiked with two in just one week.

Police say the decision to engage in a chase or not is tricky.

First, they look at the threat to the public. For example, if the driver is drunk they need to get him or her off the street because they could hurt themselves or other people.

Police say they would likely chase a person in that situation.

But then there's the second component of traffic that makes this split-second decision complicated.

Police say if it's the middle of the night and no one is out, they will pursue a chase.

But if it's heading for an event where people will be on the streets, that's a sign to back off.

“I know there's no perfect situation for any pursuit,” said Chief John Plasse with THPD. “They all have the potential for something bad to happen. So that's why we really have to be cautious with what we do and not make it more dangerous than what it already is for that one person.”

Plasse says right now they are reviewing their protocol for when to engage in a pursuit or not.

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