Cutting Edge Training

America’s Combatives and Liability Trainer Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

("I will either find a way or make one.")

Pursuit Decision-Making

Pursuit Decision-Making

Focus:  Peace officers, police supervisors, police managers, Watch Commanders, and agency risk managers.

Length:  8 hours

Police vehicle pursuits are dangerous.  Statistically, the longer the offender is pursued, the more likely that pursuit is going to end in tragedy.  This is an all too common scenario:  a violator fails to stop when you attempt to pull him over for expired tags, or for perhaps rolling a stop sign.  He elects to attempt to elude you at high speeds through a residential or urban area.  In the blink of an eye, there is a uninvolved motorist's vehicle in the roadway.  Suddenly there is a cloud of dust and smoke, car parts are floating in the air, and someone's life just changed forever...too often their life just ended.  You, the peace officer, soon become a civil defendant, and your agency is, of course, named in the suit.  You will be asked to justify your actions in this pursuit, from beginning to end.  If you cannot articulate why you initiated and continued the pursuit, and what the need was to apprehend the violator, you may be found liable.  Articulating your force response at the terminus is also required, since approximately half of the arrests of evading offenders involve force.

Every police pursuit policy contains a “risk versus benefit” formula (the risk of the pursuit versus the immediate need to apprehend the fleeing violator).  This course emphasizes HOW TO ARTICULATE YOUR DECISIONS following the pursuit of a violator.   It also discusses how to comply with the requirements of your agency pursuit policy through liability mitigation strategies and defensible safety conscious tactics.  Participants explore past and current attitudes, and practices of law enforcement in addressing vehicle pursuits.  Through examination of the latest research on the topic, participants learn why suspects flee, why officers feel compelled to pursue, and the pressures on both officers and field supervisors to monitor and control pursuits.  The emphasis of the course is to provide the officer, police supervisor, or manager with vital information required for making “defensible,” rapid decisions in the field.  These decisions will be based on legal and moral criteria, including the importance of safety to everyone involved in the pursuit.

This pursuit course was developed with the input and assistance of the top police civil defense attorneys and police risk managers in the nation--people who work full-time to defend officers in court against allegations of constitutional misconduct by officers.  CUTTING EDGE TRAINING, LLC, asked them a simple question:

What do you want your defendant police officer, supervisor, and manager to know before he or she takes the stand following a pursuit tragedy?

  • IN STATE COURT:  for negligence issues arising from policy violations.
  • IN FEDERAL COURT:  against allegations of civil rights deprivations for any force response during the pursuit or while apprehending a subject.

This is the information the professionals who defend you want you to know before you turn on your emergency lights and siren!

Course Content:

  • Introduction to Pursuit Issues
  • Pressures in Pursuit Decision Making
  • Pursuit Myth versus Reality
  • Articulating Your Pursuit Decisions
  • Pursuit Dynamics Decision-making
  • Adopting a Defensible "Personal Pursuit Policy"
  • Defensible Tactics at the Pursuit Terminus