I'M NOT A POLICE OFFICER, BUT...
CHASE RAISES QUESTIONS
Isn't it standard procedure to "head 'em off at the pass?"
I'm almost certain there's a legitimate explanation for why the slow speed police chase this morning looked a little silly.
First let me offer, it was a "slow speed chase" only as opposed to a "high speed chase." That chase of a suspect wanted by police only because he took off on them topped out at 47 miles per hour. At times squad cars pursued the suspect at far slower speeds as he toured Milwaukee's North Side for nearly an hour. If you haven't seen it, go back to the home page and view the video.
Watching tape of the episode had some of us in the newsroom scratching our heads this morning. At one point, you see the guy making a controlled left-hand turn on an empty street with no fewer than 8 squad cars following him in a line. It looked like a parade!
Let's start with this: how many squads does it take to chase one dude? I don't have a degree in police science, but I'd say after 10 minutes of dude driving around, I'm keeping one or two cars on him, and sending the other officers out to find some other criminal activity.
Aren't we paying millions of dollars in police overtime (incidentally way more than other cities our size, as pointed out recently by the MJS) because there's so much crime? I'm just saying after cars one, two, three, and four all have the guy... maybe cars five through eight can back off and go look for the 40 people who beat up that guy after Juneteenth.
If we insist on having the whole district follow dude around the North Side for 45 minutes... shouldn't one of you guys "head 'em off at the pass?" You know that line. It seems to apply more in a good western, but you know what I'm saying. Let's have cars 1-4 keep tailing the guy. That frees up cars 5-8, to try to get a block ahead of him already and end this thing. And again, that assumes you still want 8 cars on this thing.
Like I said, I'm not a police officer, but that chase looked a little odd. I'd be willing to bet there are rules of engagement that officers learn that probably say they should do it just like they did it. Of course, I've never played professional football either, and that doesn't mean I don't know a blown coverage or a bad play call when I see one.