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OPD proposed policy change on car chases draws opposition

Russell Mondy
Flickr / Creative Commons

Oaklandside reports that the proposed change is being opposed by the author of the current OPD, who claims that more police pursuits will increase the danger posed to officers, suspects and bystanders.

The news website interviewed Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina, who has studied police pursuit and high-risk activities for more than 40 years.Alpert says data shows that an increase in police pursuits have not reduced crime, but has resulted in more injuries and deaths to officers, bystanders and suspects.

Last month, two Oakland City Council members, Kevin Jenkins and Treva Reid. argued for a revision in OPD’s pursuit policy, which was adopted in 2011. The policy followed an audit, which found that many injuries had resulted from police pursuits.Oakland’s overall violent crime rate has decreased, although burglaries, robberies and car thefts have increased.

And some residents are complaining that the current policy discouraging police pursuits has emboldened those committing property crimes.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.