HARRISBURG, Pa., July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The number of police pursuits in Pennsylvania increased again last year, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan announced today.
Law enforcement agencies across the state reported involvement in 1,522 vehicle pursuits in 2012, compared to 1,453 pursuits in 2011. Of the 1,522 pursuits, 27.8 percent were discontinued by the police and 29.8 percent ended when the violator stopped voluntarily.
"Vehicle pursuits involve a very high degree of risk," Noonan said. "We must constantly balance the risk we present to ourselves, and the public, against our duty to apprehend."
Fourteen deaths were reported in 2012, noting that 13 of those killed were violators fleeing from police; one death was an uninvolved person. No police officers were killed as the result of police pursuits.Noonan said 517 of the pursuits resulted in 693 crashes in 2012, with 187 of those crashes involving injuries. "The message here is don't run from police - it's not worth it," Noonan said. The statistics are contained in the 2012 Pennsylvania Police Pursuit Report, which was compiled by state police and can be accessed through the PA State Police Reporting System at www.paucrs.pa.gov. Other information contained in the report shows that:
- More than half of all the pursuits (800) were initiated because of traffic violations, including speeding. The other most common reasons for police to initiate pursuits were for driving under the influence or suspected DUI (214); felony criminal offenses (228); and stolen or suspected stolen vehicles (131).
- More than 70 percent of pursuits resulted in the ultimate apprehension of the fleeing motorist.
- More than 58 percent of the apprehensions were accomplished using a trailing pursuit, in which officers simply follow the violator's vehicle in attempt to bring it to a stop. Trailing pursuits are the least aggressive type of pursuit.