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Orlando Sentinel "Police-chase policies face review, change" Sunday, July 27,2003
The story documents many of the changes afoot in the Orlando area. Pursuit and pursuit policy are becoming a focus of debate and review in local law enforcement agencies. I have been privileged to be involved with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in their review. I believe that the members of the review committee have worked hard to address the problems and dangers associated with police pursuit. I do not, however, believe that their effort is finished. I was contacted by Dr. Stanley Stone, the newly appointed chairman of the Orlando Police Department pursuit policy review panel and asked to be a part of that initiative. I was pleased to accept. The local media seem to be tuned in on this subject and it has presented several opportunities for PursuitWatch to gain publicity and to help educate the public on the problem. There almost seems to be a race locally to write the best pursuit policy. I am sure Sarah is pleased.

James Phillips 7/27/03

Corrections to the story:
"Beary's deputies conducted or attempted 283 pursuits. About 65 percent, or 189, were called off or were found in violation of guidelines. Only 94 were justified."

There were 217 incidents of which 42 were felonies and possibly met guidelines. 42 represents 20% of the total. There is confusion in the statistics (one of the problems that will be addressed in the new policy) because there is no way to tell which of the incidents actually involved a pursuit.
"In Orange County, deputies may chase for any felony, including the crime of fleeing and eluding an officer."
Again the policy is not specific but my interpretation is that the policy allows pursuit only for violent felonies(see the definition here) and property crimes in narrowly defined circumstances. While given as a reason for pursuit in many of the 42 felony incidents in 2002, fleeing and eluding is a charge that is a result of the pursuit rather that a justification for it.

James Phillips
July 27, 2003



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