Archives: News Articles

Pursuits take place everyday, sometimes in your community. "Innocent bystanders are 20 times more likely to be killed than the officer when a police chase goes awry," reports The Huntsville Times in Alabama. You will read about PursuitSAFETY and hear what our board members have to say in the following articles:

Police Pursuits Have Injured Thousands of Californians, June 18, 2012: For three years Candy Priano worked with her state senator to advance life-saving legislation that he called "Kristie's Law," named for Candy's daughter. The final bill proposed a statewide pursuit policy that would have allowed pursuits only when a fleeing suspect posed an imminent public danger. In lieu of "Kristie's Law," the state legislature passed law enforcement's bill that included discretionary measures and minimally enhanced penalties. It became state law in 2006. This NBC investigative report addresses Candy's legislative work with Senator Sam Aanestad and cited that "the deaths and injuries have continued apace in the state even after a law was enacted to try to reduce the number of chases and make them less dangerous. In fact, the data show that individual chases have become more deadly since the law went into effect in 2006."

Criminals run, cops chase and sometimes the public pays (pdf)
Pioneer Press, June 19, 2011: PursuitSAFETY is inspired by Bob and Mary Sanford. Read page 2 of this pdf document: A Chase, A Crash, A Limb." For Mary Sanford, even one case of a bystander killed or injured is too many. She started a website justice for after her son, Dan, and his friend, Mary, were seriously injured in a St. Paul, MN, pursuit.

Hot pursuits are a deadly matter (pdf)
CityBeat, Cincinnati, OH, May 11, 2011: "Local law enforcement officers have the right to pull over anyone, but my first thought always is, if you're driving a stolen car, or if you have warrants outstanding, how likely is it that you're going to pull over?" she [Candy Priano] says. "The more likely response is flight, and these tragedies will continue to happen. They repeat themselves over and over." ... It's a reality that’s being proven true as national studies continue, weighing the danger police pursuits pose to innocent bystanders and the police officers themselves, along with the drivers fleeing police.

Deaths lead police to question chase policies
USA Today, April 22, 2010: PursuitSAFETY advisory board member, Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina who has studied police pursuits since the 1980s, says the actual number of fatalities is "three or four times higher." Another complicating factor: bystanders killed after police stop chasing suspects — even seconds afterward — are not counted.

Three Days, Four Families = Thousands Informed
April 2010: Families representing four states participated in PursuitSAFETY's first regional Information Exchange meeting in the Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis area.

Women's RadioSafe Speeds to Protect Innocent Bystanders
April 6 2010: Pat Lynch interview Candy Priano

Family wants to cut deaths from police pursuits
Cincinnati Enquirer, December 25, 2009: Johnny Kallmeyer should be celebrating the holidays. Instead, his family will be visiting his grave. Kallmeyer was killed in 2007 when the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a criminal driving a speeding car chased by police. More than two years after that death, with Kallmeyer's killer in prison for 25 years, his family has settled a civil suit it filed against the pursuing police and is active in a national group that advocates for police pursuits that don't kill.

Archives: Op-Ed
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Conversations with officers, legislators, innocent victims and their families, and people not impacted by a police pursuit reveal that most of us not only have an opinion, but many of us stand fast in our polarized position: pro-chase or anti-chase. And, the emotion behind our position is obvious no matter what side we take. PursuitSAFETY's stand is neither. We support pursuits for known violent criminals as long as there's no other way to apprehend these suspects. Read what others have to say about the inherent dangers to innocent bystanders and police officers as a result of police pursuits:

Police Chases Too Risky for Community (pdf)
Richmond Times Dispatch, March 27, 2010: "The problem is there's no accountability," Candy Priano, executive director of PursuitSAFETY, said yesterday after learning of Taylor's death. "And in a few months, the community — not the family, not the church family — but the community as a whole will remember this incident less and less." ...Policies need to be instituted and enforced that allow high-speed chases only in pursuit of violent felons, she said. She also backs mandatory prison time for any driver who flees police.

Perspectives: Not So Black and White
The Daily Journal, California, September 30, 2009: California has one specific area of law which is shamefully unique among the fifty states. California Vehicle Code Section 17004.7 provides near absolute immunity to law enforcement for injury to innocent bystanders caused by poorly executed police vehicle chases. All other states provide for at least some form of liability. Only California makes redress in court effectively impossible. Underneath that rigid view of right and wrong is an implicit balancing test diminishing the value of the persons drawing the negative lottery ticket. That human roadblock [innocent bystander] is an abstract entity until the number is drawn. Thereafter, it is Kristie Priano. California's one specific area of law which is shamefully unique among the fifty.