Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Little Runaway..........

I just recently saw in the newspaper that a employee at Home Depot was recently fired for chasing a shoplifter out of his store. Not more than a week later one of our local police agencies instituted a "no chase" policy for it's officers.

Now I know no one asked me, but I think that is a piss poor policy to have.

I know the logic, that by chasing the bad guys it may cause them to do stupid things to get away and endanger the public. That's why the no chase policy came up in the first place, a woman shoplifted from a store got into her car and ran from the police and hit another car killing two people. I have the greatest sympathy for the folks that got killed and the feelings of their loved ones, but somehow it got turned into the police officer's fault because he chased the crook. The letters to the editor in the local paper were full of that kind of thing. Folks, If the woman hadn't first shoplifted then tried to get away, well then NONE of this would have happened.

All I can see happening with policy like this is that folks WILL try to run because they know that once they hit a certain speed, then the police will give up and let them go. Just like with Home Depot putting it out that they will not try to stop you if you shoplift. I bet you a fat man (and here he sits) that they have a fairly significant rise in thefts.

Back when I was a young pup and limber I would run bad guys until I would drop. If I caught 'em fine and good, if not, well there was always next time. I never had a boss that would make the call for me. He trusted my judgement. Have we gotten to the point where we are so scared of law suits and taking responsibility for our actions that we can't do the right thing anymore? Lord I hope not.

Speaking of which, I figured I would share a war story with you. I was patrolling at one time when I was much younger and saw a fellow that just looked like he was up to something. I went over to talk to him and he took off running. Of course I gave pursuit and caught up to him and found some controlled substances as well as a concealed weapon on his person as a result of a "terry frisk" Well, sometime later, while testifying in court, this gentleman's P.D. started giving me grief about chasing his client when he took off running. It seems that he didn't think I had a good reason to chase him. Well, again I was young and full o' beans, so I told the P.D. that I was somewhat religious and when the defendant took off running, a voice told me Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." That ended the session and I was dismissed from the stand. After the case was over, the D.A. called me over and told me that while it WAS funny, if I ever pulled a stunt like that again in his court, bowing to my religious beliefs that he would crucify me.

I behaved myself in court after that.

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