Ross: If you can’t chase a suspect, there should be a way to stop them

Oct 13, 2022, 10:32 AM | Updated: 10:32 am

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Photo from Flickr @RyanElkins

Here’s the latest frustrating police scenario. According to a draft memo from Seattle’s North Precinct, provided to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, until officers get more training, they will not be able to use their patrol cars to prevent a suspect from driving away. Even if that suspect is obviously high on drugs.

Here’s Jason talking with Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild:

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“It is saying that if one of your officers went up to someone who’s in the middle of the street with a needle out of their arm, in a car that’s in drive, but the guy’s passed out with his foot on the brake. If you go over and just try to get him to wake up and he doesn’t, you’re supposed to just leave?” Rantz asked.

“Yeah, to me, it’s devoid of common sense.”

The memo states that the officer must allow “one car’s length between the suspect vehicle and the patrol vehicle to permit a path of egress for the suspect vehicle.” The officer is supposed to radio which direction the suspect is driving, but he must be free to drive away.

Which Solan found particularly frustrating:

“Why am I a police officer again?” Solan said. “Who is supposed to intervene in this.”

Now again, the memo indicates this is a temporary policy until everybody’s been trained, and there’s a draft watermark across the text so it’s not official – but Solan says it’s already circulating, and police officers have been following it because they don’t want to get in trouble.

And I’m guessing there’s a legitimate purpose which is to protect officers and avoid dangerous high-speed chases.

But here’s what I don’t get. Why is there still no technology that allows police to easily track or disable a suspect’s car? If it’s too dangerous to block a car with a wacked-out driver — why can’t you slap a homing beacon on it?

Or how about this — an electronic device you can slap on the hood that zaps the ignition system with some kind of electrical pulse?

I realize it’s not easy to do without frying everything else in the neighborhood, but this is America! NASA just changed the orbit of a space rock 7 million miles from earth to show we can stop killer asteroids from hitting us.

How can there not be a way to zap a potentially-lethal earth-bound motor vehicle before it hits something?

Some things may be rocket science, but that can’t be one of them.

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Ross: If you can’t chase a suspect, there should be a way to stop them