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WSP trooper explains pursuit policy

WALLA WALLA, Washington – In the wake of the high-speed chase on Aug. 3 which traveled through multiple counties and involved a number of law enforcement agencies, the Washington State Patrol wants to inform the public the policy behind such pursuits.

“When there’s a serious crime, we will pursue someone until we get them stopped,” Trooper Chris Thorson said.

He added that WSP does take several elements into consideration, including public safety.

“Ultimately supervisors monitor the police chase, they make the decision on whether to continue it,” he added.

While spike strips were used to stop Amanda Warren on U.S 12, Thorson said troopers can use what they call, intentional intervention or a pursuit immobilization technique.

“We will literally crash into your car to make you stop,” Thorson said. “We don’t really like to use that tactic because that’s considered deadly force on our end.”

WSP follows a clearly defined pursuit policy. Among the reasons listed for supervisors to call off a pursuit are safety to the public, safety to the officer, traffic volume, pedestrian traffic, road and weather conditions, and the seriousness of the offense.

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