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Message from IACP President Joseph C. Carter

As you may know, on April 30th the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding police pursuits. In the case of Scott v. Harris, the Court, relying heavily on in-car camera video evidence, held that police officers may use potentially deadly force to end a high-speed chase of a suspect whose actions have put the public at risk. A copy of the decision, along with a copy of the video used by the court in making its decision, can be found at: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06slipopinion.html (click on Scott v. Harris).

Although the Court's decision in this case was favorable to the law enforcement officers and agencies involved, this case once again highlights the dangers inherent in high-speed police pursuits. It also underscores the need for law enforcement agencies to establish and maintain effective policies governing police pursuits. To that end, the IACP has made its current model policy on Police Pursuits available on the IACP website at http://www.theiacp.org/documents/VehicularPursuitPolicy.pdf.

Finally, one interesting side note in this case is the essential role that in-car camera technology played in validating the actions of the law enforcement officers involved. The IACP has long supported the use of in-car camera/mobile video recording technology and, in fact, currently has several projects underway that are related to this critical issue. For more information on these projects, please visit the IACP's web site at http://www.theiacp.org/research/RCDTechPoliceInCar.html.

I hope you find this information helpful.

 

Sincerely,
IACP President Joesph C. Carter

Joseph C. Carter
President