Atlanta police change tactics on car crimes

Auto theft and other car crimes are driving Atlanta’s crime rate overall. For the first half of the year, crime is up about two percent due primarily to vehicles getting hit.

Erika Shields, Chief of Police in Atlanta, is making a change. She is going to allow a special detail of officers to be trained on the PIT maneuver. That stands for Pursuit Intervention Technique.

The chief said criminals are well aware of the now longstanding policy that prevents the patrol officer from chasing in his or her vehicle except for the most serious violation.

So, all a car thief has to do is wave bye-bye to the cruiser behind as they get on the ramp to the interstate.

The city is purchasing seven state patrol vehicles already equipped with the gear to bump, spin and slow a vehicle so the occupants can be taken into custody.

A half dozen officers from a newly created car unit will get the training.

Shields says the modification will not lead to a revamping that would allow all officers to chase. She says there is just too much liability for that practice.