Cleveland | New police chase policy

A new police chase policy has been adopted in Cleveland.

It's 16 pages long and titled "Vehicle Pursuits." It lays out specific guidelines for what officers can chase for and how to communicate, before, during and after.

The major change is that it gives supervisors a lot more responsibility and control over those intense situations.

The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, Jeff Follmer, said this new policy is a direct response to the deadly November 2012 incident. He told Channel 3 News the CPPA didn't have much input in the new guidelines.

For instance, it states "unless specifically approved by a controlling officer, no more than two police motor vehicles shall engage in a motor vehicle pursuit."

The policy includes a strict no self-dispatching rule, as well, meaning other officers would need permission before joining a pursuit.

It also says the suspect fleeing must be accused of an actual or alleged violent felony.

The CPPA president said the policy puts more pressure on personnel during an already stressful situation in which people are making split-second decisions.

"It's 16 pages, where we don't have but 16 seconds to make a decision out there, and that's the reality of police work," Follmer said.

The reality now is fleeing in and of itself is not enough to begin a chase or continue engaging in one, according to the policy.

There are also new guidelines for communication during a chase. It includes keeping the language clear and defined on the police radios and having someone in charge of all of it.

Community members have planned a protest rally at the intersection of Lee and Terrace roads in East Cleveland at 5pm. Family members of the victims will be there along with supporters to respond to the policy changes.


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