SAPD revise police pursuit policy

Non-violent suspects won't be chased


SAN ANTONIO – Citing officer and citizen safety, the San Antonio Police Department made changes to its pursuit policy Wednesday.

The 12-page document said, "Officers must weigh the hazardous circumstances and environmental factors associated with a pursuit against the possibilities of serious bodily injury or death to other motorists, pedestrians, the pursuing officers, and the offender. Officers must understand there is a point at which the risks outweigh the benefits of apprehending a suspect."

The document said pursuits are not allowed under the following circumstances:

  • Pursuits are not authorized for traffic infractions, ordinance violations, non-violent misdemeanors (not involving the use of firearms), and non-violent felonies.
  • For the purpose of this procedure, fleeing from an officer is not considered a violent felony; therefore, pursuits are NOT authorized based on the fact that the vehicle is fleeing; and
  • The individuals fleeing are suspects only and the actual crime has not been determined.

The document said pursuits may be continued if:

  • The occupant(s) has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a violent felony offense (i.e. Aggravated Robbery or Aggravated Assault, and/or other crimes against a person in which violence is an element to the felony offense);
  • The occupant(s) has committed or is committing a violent misdemeanor offense involving the use of a firearm; or
  • The occupant(s) is known to be wanted under an active warrant for a violent felony offense.

There are many other rules involving pursuits. You can read them here.