The police pursuit policy in Florida varies by jurisdiction, but some common principles guide these policies. The primary concern is always the safety of the public, law enforcement officers, and even the suspects involved in the pursuit.
For instance, the Orlando Police Department’s policy states that officers must make every reasonable effort to apprehend fleeing violators using all available vehicle apprehension techniques. However, they must always consider the safety of the public and the hazards of a vehicle pursuit. The decision to initiate a pursuit must be based on the officer’s conclusion that the immediate danger to the public created by the pursuit is less than the immediate or potential danger to the public should the suspect remain at large.
Besides, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has a policy that includes a set of Vehicle Pursuit Safety Factors to assist in evaluating the reasonableness of the decision to initiate and/or continue a vehicle pursuit.
The Florida Highway Patrol Policy Manual also provides guidelines for pursuit driving that aim to contribute to public safety and facilitate the apprehension of criminal offenders. Members are authorized to pursue suspects they reasonably believe have committed a felony offense.
In Volusia County, the Sheriff’s Office focuses on felonies and other violent offenses when initiating high-speed chases and tends not to pursue pursuits for minor offenses, such as traffic violations.
In Orlando, under a strict policy limiting police pursuits, police can only chase someone suspected of a violent forcible felony, such as murder, armed robbery, and armed sexual assault.
These policies are subject to change and may be updated or modified based on various factors, including changes in law, technology, and societal expectations. Therefore, for the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to check with the specific law enforcement agency.
For more information on police pursuit policies, you can refer to the following resources:
- Police Vehicle Pursuits: A Violation of our Sworn Oath or a Matter of Duty?
- 1120.14, VEHICLE PURSUITS AND APPREHENSION – City of Orlando
- LAW ENFORCEMENT VEHICLE PURSUITS – POLICIES, TRAINING, TACTICS AND TECHNOLOGY
- Florida Highway Patrol Policy Manual
- Vehicle Pursuits Order Type: A Version: 15 Release Code – JSO Open Data – Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
- To chase or not to chase: Police pursuits a balance of public safety – FOX 35 Orlando
- Police-chase limits in Orlando succeed, civilian panel finds – Kristie’s Law