How officers keep drivers, themselves safe during chases

WATCH | How officers keep drivers, themselves safe during chases
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 9:58 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There have been three police chases in the central Kentucky area this week.

On Wednesday, a Florida man lead state police on a multi-county chase down I-75, leading to the discovery of a body in the back of his car.

Richmond Police Chief Rodney Richardson says a large-scale police chase is typically a last resort to catching a suspect.

“Officers have to look at environmental factors,” said Chief Richardson. “What time of day is it happening? What’s the traffic like downtown? Are they going towards a school? Are they going towards a neighborhood? They have to take things like that into consideration.”

Wednesday’s chase marks the third in less than a week.

On Monday, a police chase through several counties ended in multiple arrests. Police told us the suspect driver in that chase ran into several police cars before being taken into custody.

Last Thursday, a chase ended with State Troopers shooting a suspect in Franklin County. They say that suspect fired at them first.

“I think it’s important to know the reason behind that pursuit,” said Chief Richardson. “What’s actually happened and occurred. It may be a situation where if they don’t stop that individual, it could place others at risk, simply by not stopping them.”

Chief Richardson says if officers have no reason to believe the person in question poses a threat to the community, they’ll stop them in other ways or at other times.

“We have to make sure what we’re doing doesn’t create a high risk of causing someone else serious injury or death,” said Chief Richardson. “I don’t ever want to be in a place where it’s very minor, and someone gets seriously injured or killed as a result of it. I don’t think I want to be in that position to speak to a family member or parent because of it.”

This is why Chief Richardson says it’s fortunate people or officers weren’t hurt in these pursuits and is why officers don’t begin chases without the proper cause.