Vernon County Sheriff's Office Pursuit Policy

Vernon County Sheriff's Office Pursuit Policy

Some law enforcement agencies question whether it's a good idea to stick with a pursuit if it could put the public at risk. But one local sheriff's office doesn't back off pursuits and it's proving successful.
NEVADA, MO.--- "Whenever we're doing pursuits, it's more intense for the deputy," said Sgt. Tycher Blakely, Vernon County Sheriff's Office. 

Vernon County deputies say there's a lot to consider in a pursuit. Everything from contacting dispatch and supervisors to road and public safety.

"You start creating a situation where you've got drug dealers, thieves, people with warrants, all kinds of stuff out there. And that you can't catch them, you can't do your job because they know that with everyone around, they can't chase you. So they just take off," said Jason Mosher, Vernon County Sheriff.

Sheriff Mosher believes other departments fear the lawsuits and public criticism that can be associated with pursuits. He adds it does take a lot of training to make a good pursuit decision.

"A lot of times it depends on what time of day it is, there is a lot of people out. If it is 3 o'clock in the morning and they haven't seen a car out in the last two hours, until the vehicle they tried to stop took off on them," said Sheriff Mosher. 

In Vernon County, criminals like to use gravel roads. They're an unpredictable driving surface and they cause a lot of dust, making it easier for criminals to escape. 

"Whenever that criminal knows that, then they'll try to use that to their advantage. So it is a lot more harder driving on county roads than it is pavement," said Sgt. Blakely. 

The sheriff says when hiring new officers, he looks for individuals who know when to back off, but are also willing to run several miles into the woods if needed. 

"I've got guys that say, 'hey you want to run out there, then we're going to come out there with you.' And they do, they go out there and chase them down and it seems like we're constantly dragging people out of the woods or fields, all hot and sweaty and they try to run, but they come back to jail," said Sheriff Mosher. 

The Vernon County sheriff says if a driver is willing to run, then there's likely more to hide than just a traffic violation. The sheriff adds if you don't chase criminals then they won't fear their law enforcement. That only makes it worse for the citizens of the community. 
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