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Elkhart police department revises pursuit policy

ELKHART, Ind. – The Elkhart police department will make changes to their pursuit policy after previous revisions did not meet standards.

According to our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth, the Elkhart police department made changes to their pursuit policy in November, but the revisions did not meet recommended practices.

Elkhart police will now make changes to pursuits that are conducted based on new criteria.

Reports show that the best policy is to only pursue vehicles when someone is suspected of a felony.

A review of the department shows that Elkhart police were involved in 149 chases from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2018.

62 percent of chases began due to traffic violations, and the department believes that these types of chases were unnecessary based on best practices.

“I don’t want us to be in a position where we have put our public at risk because of a chase that wasn’t warranted,” Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson said.

Public Information Officer Lt. Travis Snyder said that the changes made in November were minor and do not follow suggested criteria for vehicle pursuits.

“We’ve gone back and forth several times on some of our beliefs… we came up with what we feel is a good working copy of our pursuit policy,” Snyder said.

One of the biggest changes is that chases can only be initiated in relation to suspected misdemeanors and felonies but not traffic violations.

The new policy also discourages usage of a police vehicle to hit another vehicle or create a roadblock.

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