Chasing until the wheels fall off: Developing a typology of high-risk police pursuits in Georgia

Lee Miller Wade

Abstract

The goal of this research project was to examine the potential variables associated with high-risk police pursuits in the state of Georgia. The objectives of the research project were to develop a typology of high-risk pursuits, ascertain the usage of pursuit termination techniques, and inform on the current status of pursuits amongst accredited agencies in the state of Georgia. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) initiated data collection of pursuits among accredited agencies as a result of the decision in Scott v. Harris 2007. A sample of 2,155 pursuit reports from 2007 to 2009 was analyzed using descriptive and chi-square analyses, as well as binary logistic regression. To identify salient variables within the data, a content analysis of news articles also was conducted for the same time period to provide for a contextualization/framing of the data evaluation. Variables associated with negative pursuit outcomes then allowed for the construction of a typology for high-risk pursuits. The findings are limited by the sample, which originated from approximately 100 GACP accredited police agencies per year. Implications of findings related to policy evaluation and training are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.