Pursuit policies show specific rules for officers involved in car chases

Pursuit policies show specific rules for officers involved in car chases

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After a series of high speed police chases, Live 5 News has learned Lowcountry police agencies have similar policies when it comes to pursuits.

Many people are still talking about a high speed chase involving a Berkeley County deputy that killed a motorcyclist.

The sheriff's office said Robert Lee Clark refused to stop and apparently missed a gear, causing the motorcycle and the deputy's SUV to collide.

Early Tuesday morning, Charleston County deputies chased a suspect who refused to stop.

At the end of the chase a safe stolen from a restaurant was found inside the car.

The driver told deputies he ran because he also had crack cocaine in the car.

"Pursuits are incredibly stressful. It's probably the second most stressful situation a police officer can get involved in," said Hanahan Deputy Police Chief Michael Fowler.

Police officers in all departments have rules to follow when it comes to chases.

We looked at the specific pursuit policies for five agencies, Charleston and North Charleston Police and the Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester County sheriff's offices.

Before chasing, officers have to consider several things.

They include the "danger to the public", "traffic in the area", and whether the "suspect's identity has been determined."

Early Thursday morning, a driver being chased by North Charleston Police crashed into a business on Spruill Avenue.

Officers found a stolen gun in the suspect's car.

"Unless you know you're going out to arrest a certain individual and you see him coming down the road and he takes off, the odds of knowing who's driving that car are very slim," Fowler said.

Each department's policy also states that pursuing officers will "not intentionally ram, bump or collide" with the vehicle they are chasing.

In the chase with the motorcycle, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said the deputy did not intentionally collide with the rider.

We asked people on the street what they think about police pursuits.

"I think just speeding or they got a bad light or something like that, let them alone, don't kill both people over that. But if they hurt somebody. robbed somebody I think they got to chase them until they get them," said Alan Carter of Cottageville.

The Berkeley County deputy who was involved in the fatal collision with the motorcyclist remains on paid leave, according to a sheriff's office spokesman.

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