Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Alderman Donovan asks for change in MPD vehicle pursuit policy

Current ‘no chase’ policy is emboldening criminals, Alderman Donovan says

By - Apr 7th, 2015 10:24 am

Alderman Bob Donovan has sent a letter (attached) to Chief Edward Flynn asking that the chief rescind the Milwaukee Police Department’s current policy on vehicle pursuits.

The alderman said the current policy, put in place by Chief Flynn in 2010, is having a negative effect on public safety across the city. Mayor Tom Barrett, MPD Chief of Staff Joel Plant, and members of the Fire and Police Commission were copied on the letter.

Alderman Donovan said police sources have indicated to him that in the first three months of 2015 alone, approximately 750 instances where vehicles would have been pursued under the former pursuit policy have occurred. “These criminals are literally thumbing their noses and flipping off officers as they drive off, knowing that officers will not pursue them,” the alderman said.

In the letter, Alderman Donovan writes: “Incidents of vehicle theft have risen alarmingly on the near south side in recent months and police officers inform me that this is due in large part to thieves knowing that they will not be pursued. Frankly, this outcome was as predictable as it is logical and I said so publicly at the time this directive was issued. Further, I need not remind you of the deaths, injuries, and accidents that have resulted from this rise in vehicle thefts.”

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7 thoughts on “Alderman Donovan asks for change in MPD vehicle pursuit policy”

  1. CJ says:

    I thought this policy was to decrease crashes involved with chases and that incidents of property and cycling gettiung hurt has dramatically decreased.

  2. PMD says:

    This policy was implemented because in a two-month period 4 innocent people were killed by drivers fleeing police.

  3. Paul says:

    It’s time to change this policy, these young thugs know if they hit the gas they’re home free

  4. PMD says:

    Yes let’s get back to police chases so more innocent people die. Very smart Paul. You should run for police chief or alderman.

  5. Paul says:

    PMD, what was that older couple that was killed a few weeks ago guilty of, they were killed by a repeat criminal that had stolen cars before and wasn’t being chased when the crash happened. It’s time to lock up these criminals before they kill someone.

  6. Eric S says:

    It’s a balancing act. If the police chase, there is a risk to innocent people (as well as the pursuing officers and the suspect) that happen to be on the street. If the police do not chase, there is also the possibility that the suspect is a violent offender and may commit another violent act in the future. Many jurisdictions have decided that the risk of the former is great enough that they have adopted similar policies – only chasing when suspects are KNOWN violent offenders.

  7. Paul says:

    Eric, I believe it should be up to the discretion of the officer. Car theft should be a felony with mandatory jail time. You’ll never know if it’s a violent offender behind the wheel unless you stop them.

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