Atlanta police adopts zero-chase policy
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department has adopted a zero-chase policy to begin effective immediately.
Citing "risks to the safety of officers and the public," Chief Erika Shields announced the suspension of all vehicle pursuits in a letter to staff Friday and later in a 3 p.m. press conference.
Shields acknowledged that a recent incident in which a fleeing suspect drove head-on into another vehicle played a role in the decision. Two young men died in the incident in southwest Atlanta.
Atlanta already had a restrictive chase policy, allowing for pursuits generally if there was some act of violence.
"But even when the decision meets our standard," Shields said, "It can still be too much, too costly"
A group of officers had been trained by the state patrol on pursuit maneuvers.
The chief is considering even more extensive training before allowing chases to commence.
For now, commanders still will be able to call on the state patrol for assistance.