Who is to blame when pursuits go bad…administrators or officers?

Police pursuits have been responsible for the death of several suspects who are chased by the police in order to enforce law and order in their jurisdiction. The death of large numbers of people has resulted in a debate concerning the persons and institutions that are responsible for these events. Although administration can control the activities of the police officers, it is the officers who are required to take crucial decisions, which indicate that it is the law enforcement officials who should be blamed for the death of many people as a result of police pursuits.

This is true because of the fact that police possess discretionary powers, which can be judiciously used in avoiding the death of innocent people. This would indicate that discretionary powers given to the police officials has enormously increased the police authority leading to the death of many people due to police chase. Statistical data concerning police pursuit has showed that nearly 500 innocent victims of pursuits have been killed in the US during the period 2000 to 2003, thereby showing the dangerous consequences of police chases. Police pursuit has resulted in direct and indirect effect on the victims.

(Kristies Law n. d. ) For example, one girl was killed when a fleeing car dashed against her car, which shows that innocent people have been victimized due to police pursuits resulting in negative effect on the society. This incident has resulted in reaction by the media. Although the government has promised to take immediate action, there have been no changes in the pursuit policy. (Kristies Law n. d. ) This issue has been taken up by citizen’s organizations, which have collected information pertaining to police practice of pursuit leading to the death of many innocent victims.

It is true that police are not deliberately chasing the cars to kill people. However, before taking such drastic actions, they need to be aware of their negative consequences such as injury and death of large numbers of people. (Kristies Law n. d. ) This issue has been discussed by scholars at various platforms, wherein they have taken different sides. Some people have asserted the right of the police to chase suspects, while some others have criticized the administration for not giving proper instructions to the police while indulging in pursuits.

In this context, police training plays an important role in deciding the persons or institutions responsible for increased number of people being killed in such activities. Therefore, attempt should be made to provide proper training to the police so that they would be able to not only protect themselves but also to avoid the death of innocent people. (Kristies Law, n. d. ) It is reported that in California that there has been progressive increase in the number of dead people as a result of police pursuits. A teen car driver in order to escape police chase, banged the car to a girl, which led to the death of the girl.

In this instance, the police could have maintained restraint as they were aware of the identity of the suspect. The police could have taken recourse to action by following the no pursuit policy. In this particular case, it has been argued that police officers broke no pursuit policy. (Kristies Law, n. d. ) The reference to pursuit policy indicates that administrators have laid down particular rules while chasing the suspects. In some cases, officers can avoid chasing particularly in narrow roads so that innocent people are not killed as a result of this pursuit.

This has resulted in the criticism of the officers because in many cases they could have avoided the death of innocent victims by following the police pursuit policy. (Kristies Law, n. d. ) Within a short span of three years, 153 Californians were reported killed in police pursuits resulting in public outcry against such deaths of innocent victims. Out of 153 people, it is reported that 53 people were innocent people. (Kristies Law n. d. ) However, deaths of many other people are not reported because they are treated as passengers or occupants of chased vehicles.

This shows that there is a need to restrict the authority of the police to chase vehicles leading to the killing of large number of people. (Kristies Law n. d. ) It is true that the administration is also partly responsible for these killings as the administrators have allowed such police chases to continue. However, it is the police officers who are present in the scene of action and consequently it is the police who are required to take appropriate action in order to enforce law and order in their jurisdiction. It is not proper to expect the police to follow a non pursuit policy particularly with reference to dangerous criminals.

However, at the same time they can avoid unnecessary chases so that they save precious lives. (Kristies Law n. d. ) Some people tend to argue that it is the administration, which is responsible for the negative consequences of police pursuits as they believe that administrators need to introduce appropriate policies in order to discourage the criminals from running away from the police. By giving severe punishment to the criminals, it is possible to reduce the number of police pursuits as the criminals would prefer to get arrested instead of running away from the scene. (Watson 2003)