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Courts / Law

St. Petersburg Reins in Police Car Chases

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The city of St. Petersburg today announced police will no longer go in hot pursuit of fleeing vehicles unless the suspect is wanted in connection with a violent felony.

Mayor Rick Kriseman and Interim Chief of Police David Dekay announced the change to the St. Petersburg Police Department's official pursuit policy. The move comes as many people - particularly in south St. Petersburg - have complained about people getting shot or hurt who were involved in relatively minor crimes.

Here's the city's statement:

Effective today (Thursday January 9, 2014) Interim Chief of Police David Dekay changed the St. Petersburg Police Department's pursuit policy. The new policy authorizes police officers to pursue vehicles only when the driver/occupants have been involved in a "violent felony." Interim Chief David Dekay said "This change in the pursuit policy will still allow officers to be effective in apprehending violent fleeing felons while minimizing risk to the public." Mayor Rick Kriseman released this statement:  "During the campaign, I made my concerns about this policy clear. Today, I am glad to stand with Chief DeKay, who is in agreement with me, as the police department reverts to the previous policy regarding high speed pursuit."

To view a copy of the revised pursuit policy, click HERE.