Police Pursuits Used for Entertainment

by David Pienta (below), Florida Law Enforcement


Law enforcement activity as entertainment started when COPS first aired in the early 1990s.  Now we have Live PD, Police Women of Dallas, PD Cam… Every time there is a law enforcement pursuit it seems if there is a news helicopter in the area, it is not only filming the pursuit for the news, they are doing live broadcasts to TV as well as the web.

The public now sees pursuits as entertainment rather than bringing a suspect to justice.  The public views it as a game of cat and mouse.  All the while, no one watches the pursuit thinking about the danger posed to the public as well as all of those involved.  No one stops to think about why is the suspect being chased in the first place.

As if all of that was not enough, the entertainment of pursuits has come full circle, as a company in Las Vegas is now offering law enforcement pursuits as entertainment, allowing you to take part.  With this company in place, pursuits are now fully glamorized.

Law enforcement has taken the stance of not using the name of active shooters as much as possible, to not give them the attention they desire.

Why can we not do the same for pursuits?  Why air them?  Why allow people to experience “the thrill” of them?  All we are doing is promoting a deadly activity.

During this “entertainment”, I am willing to bet there is zero talk of the risks to the public or to anyone involved.

Let’s stop glorifying pursuits.

According to Las Vegas Now (see image above), the attraction allows people to participate in a simulated vehicle pursuit just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Image courtesy of Police Chase Las Vegas. PursuitSAFETY expresses its condemnation of this type of entertainment that encourages people to commit a crime that kills and injures innocent bystanders and police officers every day.

Published December 4, 2018

Movies, Video Games & Reality

We watch movies and video games that glorify the ultimate police chase. Everyone is on the edge of their seats hoping the protagonists ditches the police, dodges the busy streets and comes out victorious! It’s simple, in Hollywood movies, video games, simulations, etc. you can always walk away.
The Dukes of Hazzard
In real life, police chases often end in violent crashes that kill, paralyze, or disfigure those who flee and innocent victims nearby. You can’t turn off the TV, pause the game, or walk away. This is real life. That is why it is essential to remind young adults or teenagers getting ready to drive about the importance of taking being pulled over by police seriously. Bandura’s Social Learning Theory argues that people learn and develop ideas from observations, modeling, and imitation. This said, younger generations are surrounded by new film technology that includes awesome CGI, graphics, animations and anything else that can transform an unfortunate chase scene into something “hard-core” and “EPIC.” This can be misleading especially to young adults starting to drive. These films are telling the story that police chases are cool and even more so if you get away and outrun the cops! “Fast and the Furious,” “Need for Speed,” and “Dukes of Hazard” are only a few of the 1,000-plus films that contribute to glorifying police chases. Seeing these films over and over can have the effect of making someone feel invincible on the road. Especially after seeing a leading character hit a police car, roll their vehicle multiple times, land in a lake and walk away without a scratch. This isn’t realistic, and it is imperative we are reminded of that. Too often the person killed isn’t the person fleeing, but an innocent victim that is usually a brother, sister or a best friend. -Savannah McIntosh