At the peak of the list of pertains to for law enforcement administrators is your agency’s motor car pursuit policy. Automobile pursuits and also use that the PIT maneuver host the greatest potential because that officer injuries, an adverse public relations, damaged property and threats of legit action. Options for minimizing the danger of pursuits might lie in full knowledge of the limitations of the PIT maneuver.

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Officers perform a PIT practice (Image/YouTube)


Pursuit Immobilization Technique

PIT stands for search immobilization technique, a manner of disabling a car that originated v the California Highway Patrol in the 1970s. The PIT was later perfected through an advanced driving and also police search academy based in West Virginia. Thereafter, police agencies across the United states have adopted and regarded the PIT together a relatively safe method for ending a pursuit.

The PIT technique requires pull close the fleeing automobile diagonally from behind. The follow officer must match the speed of the fleeing automobile as very closely as possible. With a slight impact, the officer maneuvers the car to gently press the suspect’s behind bumper, with the will of sending it right into a spin. The officer’s auto continues forward as the suspect’s automobile is disabled.

The abrupt change in thrust direction that the fleeing suspect’s automobile will generally stall the powertrain, which essentially ends pursuit. The frequently stunned suspect deserve to then be taken into custody.

Although regarded as effective and also safe by many, the PIT maneuver has actually a substantial number of critics. Right here are a few common concerns and suggestions for improvement.

Poor Training

Critics claim that the PIT exercise constitutes a use of lethal force. Part view use of the PIT maneuver by a poorly trained officer under risky conditions as an action that could reason serious injury or even fatality to the fleeing topic or bystanders.

Proponents that the technique strongly believe in that is effectiveness and efficiency, however successfully and safely executing the PIT maneuver needs excellent management of the technique. This level that precision execution needs superior maintain by jar officers, which unfortunately isn’t habitual due to staffing shortages and also a lack of time and also funding.

Speed Restrictions

Many agencies throughout the United states have embraced policy restrictions restricting usage of the PIT maneuver over 40 mph. Part agencies also lower the threshold because that execution come 30 mph.

While agencies have used the PIT maneuver v success, it is best used at slow-moving speeds on flat, dry surfaces and also on vehicles that have a low facility of gravity. As speeds, quest environments and also vehicles will vary, the likelihood of a successful execution that this an approach also varies significantly according to study done by Geoffrey P. Alpert at the college of south Carolina.

Electronic stability Control

Since approximately 2012, vehicles room now compelled to come equipped with digital stability control. Researcher observed in 2008 that the PIT maneuver may be less efficient on vehicles equipped through ESC. Further data illustrated extr necessary steering input, modified acceleration and braking to properly execute the PIT on a target auto equipped v ESC.

The Portland Police bureau shared additional research in 2015 that depicted how secondary impacts were much more common in target vehicles equipped v ESC 보다 without. Additionally, the severity of secondary impacts raised at speeds higher than 45 mph.

Injury and Death

The officer and citizen injuries and deaths result from high-speed police pursuits are shockingly high. Innocent third-party observers who simply happened to it is in in the means add as much as 42 percent that persons eliminated or injured throughout pursuits. USA this day reports that an ext than 5,000 bystander and passenger deaths have arisen as a result of police pursuits because 1979, and also other research reflects that approximately 40 percent of police pursuits an outcome in crashes.

With this statistics, as well as modern-day vehicle safety functions like digital stability control, executing a PIT practice has come to be more complicated for legislation enforcement. Ongoing research the the PIT on newer vehicles will be essential to ensure the the method remains effective, and officers will should train completely so they can properly execute the PIT without incident.

During a pursuit, policemans are charged with the responsibility of protecting the public while placing themselves at risk and also making decision under duress. Clearly defined policies and also thorough training can considerably reduce the risks of officer and civilian injury and threats of legal action.

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About the author

Melissa Mann newly retired indigenous the field of legislation enforcement. She experience spanned 18 year which contained assignments in Corrections, community Policing, Dispatch Communications, and also Search and Rescue. Melissa stop a BS in Criminal Justice and MA in Psychology with focus in studies on the psychological procedure of law enforcement officers. She holds a deep enthusiasm for researching and writing around the way of living of police and corrections work and the far reaching psychological results on the officer and their world.