PursuitSAFETY®, a national nonprofit organization, is committed to reducing the number of deaths and injuries as a result of vehicular police pursuit and response call crashes. We are working for a safer way® to prevent these tragedies from happening to innocent bystanders and police officers. We exist to save lives.
Victims' Advocacy: PursuitSAFETY® provides a safe place for bereaved families and injured innocent victims to turn to for the support they need.
Police Pursuits: PursuitSAFETY® advocates that chases only need to be conducted when there is no other way to apprehend a driver who poses an imminent threat to public safety, i.e., to prevent future injuries and deaths. PursuitSAFETY advocates that pursuits for misdemeanor violations, non-felony actions or property-only felonies should be avoided. Read about PursuitSAFETY’s Safer Way Award.
Police Response Calls: PursuitSAFETY® advocates police response calls need to be conducted with extreme caution to prevent deaths of and injures to innocent bystanders and officers.
"The fleeing driver does not care about my family’s safety or your family’s safety, so the burden to protect the innocent, by necessity, falls on the police to keep the public and themselves safe," Candy Priano, PursuitSAFETY's Executive Director.
PursuitSAFETY wants to prevent these tragedies from happening to others.
For bereaved families of bystanders, injured bystanders,
and survivors of law enforcement officers:
- Increase the public's knowledge about this public safety issue through our educational programs, presentations, and public service announcements.
Provide a safe place for innocent victims and their families to turn to for the support they need and support similar organizations that assist survivors of law enforcement officers.
Legislation for Penalties:
- Sponsor and support legislation that makes all acts of fleeing and eluding the police a felony with mandatory prison time. For public safety purposes, the act of fleeing and eluding cannot be used as an excuse to justify a chase or to justify a continued and higher-risk chase.
Sponsor and support legislation to make the registered owner the presumed fleeing driver of a vehicle (such a presumption is rebuttable but the burden of proof shifts to the owner, who thereby becomes highly motivated to identify the family member or whomever else was driving the vehicle)
Partner with Law Enforcement:
Promote a standard of professionalism for officers when they engage in pursuits--the same standard that exists for when officers use their firearm. Require officers to follow their pursuit and response call policies. This may surprise some people, but the United States does not require all states to mandate that officers follow their pursuit policy, so in some states, such as California, officers are not required to follow the policy they have actually adopted. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are granted state and federal immunity shields. Law enforcement agencies should welcome accountability to the public they serve.
Mandatory officer training, preferably once a year but no less than every two years.
Policy testing. Many states don't provide any testing and some states do not even require officers to read their policy.
An independent investigative team (comprised of officers from other agencies, victims' advocates and non-law enforcement professionals) will review police vehicular pursuits and police response calls ending in death or injury.
Mandatory reporting of deaths and injuries resulting from vehicular police pursuits.
- Work to implement the above concepts;
- Be a resource for law enforcement agencies and associations; provide research to law enforcement for the development and implementation of safe and responsible police chase and police response policies, procedures, practices and laws;
- Be a resource for families of victims and victims of crashes caused by police chases and police response calls;
- Educate the public, potential high-risk offenders, police, and press about the inherent danger of vehicular police chases and police response calls; and
- Sponsor programs and support pursuit polices that strike an appropriate balance between (a) apprehending fleeing drivers or responding to police response calls and (b) ensuring public safety.