Law enforcement officers practice safety procedures during chases

LOWNDES/WINSTON COUNTY,Miss.(WCBI) – Law enforcement doesn’t take pursuits lightly.

Even under the best of circumstances, they’re dangerous.

Even the best law enforcement officers can’t predict which stop will lead to a pursuit. That’s why they have rules in place, and learn to rely on their training.

Law enforcement officers do their best to avoid pursuits. But sometimes they have to make that call.

While each department has different practices and policies to follow, Mississippi Highway Patrol Sergeant Derrick Beckom said one rule remains consistent, handle it safely.

“It’s in our training to try and make that stop as safely as we can, see why this person may be fleeing. You never know what they may have just been involved in and so it’s just very important to us to make sure we make that stop but in a safe way,” said Beckom.

According to Beckom, most car chases begin after a driver refuses to pull over.

Beckom said whether if it’s due to drugs, crime, or even a suspended license, officers must analyze the setting and the possible route of the chase.

“We have to be aware of timing and possible traffic if it’s heavy. We have to take those things into consideration and be responsible, and make sure we don’t hurt anyone as far as innocent bystanders,” said Beckom.

Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh said he’s been in his fair share of pursuits over the years.

He agreed, being involved in a car chase isn’t only dangerous for officers, it’s a safety hazard for the community.

“We’ve seen them blow through school zones before in years past. That’s why we don’t pursue them if they’re doing stuff like that cause nothing is worth the life of a child or an innocent person. And that’s the biggest thing, is to weigh the benefits against the problems,” said Pugh.

Both Pugh and Beckom have one piece of advice. Comply with law enforcement. The end result will be better than if you decide to run.

“Don’t panic, let the officer do his job. Take your ticket and move on with life before you end up in jail for a long long time,” said Pugh.

Both added that even though every pursuit is different, the standard practices don’t change.

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