Brooklyn Center Police Explain High-Speed Chase Policy
The Brooklyn Center Police Department is explaining its high-speed chase policy to offer clarity after a high-profile chase in Minneapolis ended with a crash at a playground.
Last week’s high-speed chase involving the Minnesota State Patrol ended with a crash in a Minneapolis playground, injuring three children. The case is calling attention to how police decide whether to pursue a high-speed chase.
While the chase did go through the city of Brooklyn Center, the Brooklyn Center Police Department did not get involved in the chase, and here’s why.
“The first question we ask anytime a pursuit from another police department comes into Brooklyn Center is ‘what’s the reason, why are you chasing this car?’ From there, we go, ‘Okay, is this within policy?” says Rick Gabler, a commander with the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
The Brooklyn Center Police Department’s policy for pursuit largely focuses on violent crimes. For example, officers will only engage in a high-speed chase if it’s the result of a violent crime.
Last week’s chase began as a traffic offense, so Brooklyn Center police did not participate.
Pursuit Policies Vary from City to City
State law mandates that each law enforcement agency must have a policy for pursuit, but policies vary from city to city based on how different police departments view the risks versus the possible outcomes.
“High-speed chases, by in large, are unpredictable, they’re dangerous, so you have the public to consider, you have the occupants of the fleeing vehicle, and you have the officers, so you have to balance everybody’s safety,” says Gabler. “You really have to ask yourself as an agency, ‘is this crime?’ Let’s say it’s a misdemeanor traffic offense, is it worth it: the risk we pose to the public by having this chase go through our city.”
The Brooklyn Center Police Department is currently reviewing and revamping its pursuit policy, but it does not expect any major policy changes.