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Las Cruces police department defines pursuit policies

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Las Cruces police department was involved in a pursuit Wednesday night, ending with an alleged robber being arrested and another man shot by an officer.

While LCPD is investigating Wednesday night's incident and cannot yet discuss the extent of their practices that night, they defined their general pursuit policies.

"Our policy mirrors the New Mexico state statute for the Safe Pursuit Act," said Kiri Daines, Deputy Chief of Police with the Las Cruces Police Department.

"Everything has to be taken into consideration, and each individual pursuit is taken individually," said Daines. "Pursuits are not suggested when the danger to the public or the officers outweighs the advantage of taking this person into custody."

Daines says a pursuit is not just a one-officer job.

"Per policy, the officer that is in pursuit is gonna constantly be giving updates on traffic conditions speeds location and the other officers will be trying to move to the area to either shut down traffic so we don't have traffic interfering in the pursuit," said Daines "If someone hurt someone and is fleeing the scene that would be an ongoing danger to the public and it would be very important that we stop that person."

"If someone took a Snickers from one of our local convenience stores, that's not a pursuit there is no ongoing danger to the public," said Daines.

According to Daines, once engaged, a pursuit can be stopped at any moment if outside factors become a hazard.

"While the pursuit is going on were constantly looking at weather factors, traffic factors where the pursuit is going, speeds, things of that nature. We’re constantly evaluating if this is going to be safe, can I continue to pursue in a safe manner, and things of that nature because we understand that everyone's safety is our responsibility," said Daines

According to Daines, officers are always aware of safety, and excessive speed by officers during a pursuit depends on a few factors.

“Speed is kind of a relative thing because we cannot control what the suspect is doing, so a lot of times too, it's gonna depend on location, timing because speed in and of itself is not just the nature of a pursuit," said Daines "We need to do our best to terminate that pursuit soon as possible to get that person into custody, so, therefore, we might have to exceed the speed limit to catch up to that person to do a pursuit intervention technique, or we can stop the action quickly."

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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