No more chases E-mail

No more chases I'm the chief of the small city of Bayou Vista on the outskirts of Galveston, Texas. I've worked as a lieutenant, sergeant and deputy for the Harris County Sheriff's Department for over 20 years. Over that time I've been involved in many pursuits. In 1982, I shot and killed a young boy who was fleeing in a stolen vehicle.

In 1991, I was the lead vehicle in a pursuit that reached speeds of more than 100 mph when the suspect went the wrong way on Interstate 45 towards Dallas. I have witnessed pursuits that ended with deputies dying after a crash. The penalty in Texas for fleeing and evading arrest is a state jail felony.

The punishment is very minor considering the risk to police officers and the general public when these incidents occur.

Until the Texas legislature enacts laws that truly punish fleeing drivers, protect the police officers from lawsuits and allow deadly force, there should not be another vehicle chase in Texas. Punishing drivers who flee from the police should include life in prison and seizure of all assets. If the suspect is released (we all know life does not really mean life) he should never be able to purchase or own any large items including a home and vehicle. I know all the arguments about the consequences for allowing criminals to flee. But ask the family of a victim who was killed in a pursuit crash if they think the pursuit was worth it. How about the officer who was paralyzed or the child that lost her legs.

Look at what happens to police officers who use excessive force after a chase. They way things are now, I will not allow my officers to get involved in a vehicle chase for any reason. There is not a crime a criminal can commit that is worth the life of an officer or innocent civilian.

– Ed Lucas Chief of Police Bayou Vista PD, Texas.

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