A look at high speed chase policies by department

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Last month's high speed chase still has people talking and taking sides. The chase involved Charleston County Sheriff Al cannon, his deputies and the suspect, 31-year-old Timothy McManus.

Deputies say McManus refused to stop and didn't until the tires of his truck were shot out. Where you live affects whether officers will chase a suspect through your neighborhood or. like in this case, fire a gun.

There are some similarities among the agencies in the Tri-County. For example, all agencies call for officers to determine whether the pursuit poses a greater risk to the public than if the suspect is allowed to get away.

All agencies have restrictions against unmarked vehicles getting involved, but there are some differences when it comes to firing weapons during a chase.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office pursuit policy prohibits the use of firearms on a moving vehicle, "except as ultimate measure of self-defense or the defense of another when the suspect is using deadly force be any means."

The Berkeley County Sheriff's office limits the use of firearms against a moving vehicle and to use them in the case of "ultimate measure" of self-defense or the defense of others.

The City of North Charleston Police Department's pursuit policy states officers will not fire a weapon from a moving vehicle.

The Charleston Police Department does not allow officers to fire weapons during a chase unless necessary in defense of life. The policy states that the department allows officers to "only pursue suspects wanted for violent crimes or those who could potentially use a firearm or explosive device in a crime."

Summerville has a similar policy. Dorchester County Sheriff's spokesman Major john Garrison says deputies can fire their guns if circumstances justify it.

There were Charleston County sheriff's unmarked vehicles involved in last month's chase from Mt. Pleasant to Awendaw, which would appear to violate department policy.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating whether there was any wrongdoing by deputies and/or Cannon.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.