Police can't explain recent spike in high speed chases

Police can't explain recent spike in high speed chases

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - A Hanahan Police official said Monday he can't explain a recent spike in police pursuits in his city and around the Tri County area.

There have been at least five chases reported in the last two and a half weeks.

"I couldn't even tell you when our last pursuit was before a couple of weeks ago," said Hanahan Police Lt. Michael Fowler.

The pursuits included one in which a 12 year old boy allegedly led Goose Creek cops on a high speed chase in a stolen SUV.

The chase finally ended on I-26.

"I don't know any law enforcement official that goes to work says man, I hope to get into a pursuit today," Fowler said.

Fowler said there's a good reason for that line of thinking.

"It's perhaps the most stressful thing that we do.'

He says chases force officers to make split second decisions.

"The thought process that the officer is going through, hundreds of decisions in a very short amount of time."

And all that time wondering why the suspect won't stop.

"The mindset can be anything from I just don't want a ticket, to I've got a gun in the car. I've got drugs in the car, I don't want to go back to jail," said Fowler.

Fowler says sometimes people lead police on chases just for the thrill of it.

"As long as the perceived reward is greater than the risk then they're gonna try it," he explained.

The lieutenant says because chases can put both police and the public at risk, he'd like to see more training.

"An officer is more likely to get involved in a pursuit than he is in a shootout, but yet we tend to spend more time training with our weapons."

Fowler says because pursuits generally don't last long, it's difficult to warn drivers. He suggests keeping an eye out for blue lights from behind and listening for sirens, and then pulling over safely.

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