The Perils of Police Car Chases: A Risk Too Great

New Orleans needs more police officers. And newly elected governor Jeff Landry’s decision to send reinforcements seems like a good idea.  But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Said another way, good intentions when acted upon can lead to unintended consequences. No matter how you slice it, the early returns on the impact of Troop NOLA is not good. In fact, if left to their own devices, death and destruction are soon to follow their speeding escapades. 

Crash after crash after crash. 5 so far. Literally the specialized state police troop assigned to New Orleans is wreaking havoc on the city. Sirens blaring and lights whizzing the white SUV’s zip and zoom across the city.  Five crashes in two weeks. 

In the high-stakes realm of law enforcement, police car chases represent a glamorized pursuit of justice. However, the reality is far from glamorous. High-speed pursuits pose significant dangers, not only to the officers and suspects involved but also to innocent bystanders. The risks associated with these chases are immense, and the cost, in terms of human lives and damaged property, is too great to justify their continuation without much more stringent regulations.

Driving fast and wild is dangerous

Firstly, the sheer physics of high-speed chases makes them inherently dangerous. Vehicles traveling at excessive speeds have increased stopping distances and reduced maneuverability, which can lead to catastrophic crashes. When a police car, often weighing over two tons, collides with another object at high speed, the force of impact is tremendous. This can result in severe injuries or fatalities, even with safety features like airbags and reinforced structures.

Moreover, the unpredictability of a chase scenario compounds the risk. In New Orleans, most of the car thieves are teenagers.  Inexperienced drivers. Stupid people who don’t fully comprehend the risks they are taking.  These teenagers often take erratic actions to evade capture, such as running red lights, speeding through crowded areas, or driving against traffic. These actions create chaotic situations where even the most skilled drivers, including trained state police officers, can lose control. The potential for collateral damage in such scenarios is high, with pedestrians, other motorists, and public property all at risk.

Related: NOPD Car Chase ends in death

The psychological impact on officers engaged in a pursuit must also be considered. The adrenaline rush and tunnel vision associated with high-speed chases can impair judgment and reaction times. Officers are tasked with making split-second decisions that balance the need to apprehend suspects with public safety concerns. This high-pressure environment can lead to errors in judgment, sometimes with irreversible consequences.

Innocent People Die

Statistically, the outcomes of police chases are sobering. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 1996 to 2015, an average of 355 people were killed annually in pursuit-related crashes. This figure includes not only suspects and officers but also a significant number of innocent bystanders. The loss of life is a stark reminder of the gravity of these incidents.

Furthermore, the financial implications of police chases are substantial. The costs associated with property damage, medical expenses, and legal liabilities can burden law enforcement agencies and taxpayers.  When pursuits end in tragedy, the ensuing lawsuits and settlements further strain public resources.  Is the city of New Orleans legally liable if the state police kill an innocent bystander?

NOPD Chased SUV into Building

In light of these factors, most law enforcement agencies are reevaluating their pursuit policies. It’s the primary reason the consent decree places strict guidelines on police chases for the NOPD. And there are better options.  Alternatives such as tracking devices, strategic roadblocks, and increased use of aerial surveillance are being employed to reduce the need for high-speed pursuits. These methods allow officers to apprehend suspects without the immediate dangers of a chase.

While the capture of suspects is a crucial aspect of law enforcement, the risks associated with police car chases are too significant to ignore. The potential for loss of life, psychological impact on officers, and financial costs demand a reexamination of current practices. By adopting safer and more strategic approaches, Troop NOLA can protect both the public and officers, ensuring that the scales of justice are balanced without the unintentional loss of life. 

Two Last Points:

  • When a person’s vehicle is stolen, they want it back un-wrecked.
  • Stop the Louisiana cowboy antics in the city of New Orleans
2 thoughts on “Troop Nola is Out of Control”
  1. Egomaniac at work with these chases. They think they are doing something special. Anything Landry proposes is tainted.

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