NJ Lawmaker calls for review of police chase policy

Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s resolution urging the State attorney general to launch a study of New Jersey’s guidelines for police pursuits cleared the Law and Public Safety Committee today.

The measure (SR153) seeks a review of the vehicular pursuit policy, most recently revised in 2009.

“High speed chases are extremely dangerous, risking the lives of police officers, fleeing suspects, and the innocent, unsuspecting public,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “We need to establish best practices for police to follow to keep our highways and roads safe without allowing criminals to ignore the laws.”

Under the resolution, the study would prompt recommendations regarding the use of emergency vehicle lights and sirens, and speeding not involving a police chase, important considerations not addressed in the current 10-year-old policy.

“Law enforcement and responders are given a lot of autonomy, and it is well worth considering rules to increase consistency and safety,” O’Scanlon said. “With this study, we can save lives and help the police do their jobs safely and effectively.”

A New Jersey corrections officer died in August when a vehicle driven by a fleeing suspect crashed into his car in Newark. In 2006, a police chase in Cape May County led to a crash that killed two teen-age sisters.

A newspaper report on police chase fatalities, published four years ago, said 187 people died in pursuits in New Jersey since 1979. The statistic was attributed to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System maintained by the National Highway Safety Administration.


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There are 7 Comments to "NJ Lawmaker calls for review of police chase policy"

  • Mark says:

    Can we get a review of the State Police Policy to go into private neighborhoods and harass citizens for parking violations as fundraisers.
    it’s one thing if you want patrol the major arteries like Rt9, Rt 70 etc , but its another thing when u go into small side streets and only in Lakewood , just to harass the already overstresses cause of traffic citizens.

  • Yuks says:

    Police chasing is one of the most senseless practices by law enforcement. Typical scenario- somebody steals two chocolate bars from a 7/11, and drives off. The owner call the cops; and the chase is on! Countless lives are endangered, often resulting in injuries. With the best case scenario being two badly damaged police cruisers. By the time the “criminal” is apprehended, he has already eaten the two chocolate bars.

  • Duh says:

    Yuks, your comment is filled with inaccuracies and shows how uneducated you are in the laws governing law enforcement in NJ, otherwise known as the hardest state to be a cop in. Maybe in Florida or Alabama you could chase for a shoplifting, in NJ that would get a cop fired. We could ask the Israeli police for their advice if you want stricter law enforcement…..

  • Askan4trouble says:

    I agree with Yuks – Do a quick Google search and you’ll find 100s of pursuits that were started due to a minor driving offense or Shoplifting! These cops put Hundreds of people in danger just to catch the individual – totally baffling!!

  • Anon says:

    Officers Cannot chase in the state of New Jersey, Lakewood or any other town….. guess we don’t have to worry about…

  • Duh says:

    Your Google must be set to “inaccurate”. Police in the State of NJ have to abide by what is called the Attorney General’s Guidelines. Take a minute to read the one about Vehicle Pursuits and let me know if Yuk or Askan4trouble’s comments are accurate. Maybe in other states but not in NJ. Anon you are also incorrect. Law Enforcement in NJ can pursue, they are just held to a much higher standard and need much more to initiate a pursuit than “minor driving offense and shoplifting!” I am not Law Enforcement….just educated.