— High-speed police chases and injuries are becoming
more common in Wisconsin, despite some police departments'
restrictions on chases over minor infractions, according
to a recent analysis of Wisconsin Department of
enforcement officials were involved in 567 chases during
the first six months of this year, accounting for a 33
percent increase from last year, the report by Gannett
Wisconsin Media (http://post.cr/1JBQauB
) found. That's the highest number of police chases since
number of incidents involving injuries also reached a
five-year high, but no deaths were reported by police.
unclear what's driving the increase, but it contradicts
efforts by some law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin and
across the country to refrain from chasing suspects.
officials in some of the state's communities moved to
restrict officers from chasing suspects involved in minor
offenses after the deaths of four bystanders in Milwaukee
in late 2009 and early 2010.
have a very tight policy. It's not a no-pursuit policy but
it's awful close," Evansville Police Chief Scott
McElroy said. "I don't think everybody is trained to
drive that fast. We don't do enough of it and I just think
there's too many other things that can go wrong."
surge largely is due to an increase in police chases that
took place in the state's southeastern region and stemmed
from minor offenses, the Gannett Wisconsin Media analysis
of state records determined. The number of chases over
traffic violations during the first half of 2015 in
Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties nearly
doubled to 131, compared to 71 last year.
comparison, law enforcement agencies in central and
northeastern Wisconsin reported 102 chases during the
first six months of this year, a 10 percent decrease from
the same period last year, the records show.
analysis of state records also calls into question the
accuracy of Wisconsin's system for tracking police chases.
Although local police agencies are required by state law
to report all of their chases to the Department of
Transportation, many chases are missing from the statewide
records database, according to Gannett Wisconsin Media.
the missing chases happened in southeastern Wisconsin, so
comparisons between past and present data could be skewed.