When do police chase? - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

When do police go on the chase?

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By Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCIV) -- Tara Green has three children. They live in their family home in Hanahan. She said Wednesday night's police chase went by her house so quickly that all she saw was the blue lights.

"My oldest daughter said, ‘What was that?!'" she said.

Green said her children often play outside and that was what scared her about a 100-mile-per-hour chase going by her front lawn.

"For the safety of every body, including the police officers, they might've just wanted to radio somebody to head them off in another spot," she said.

But Lt. Michael Fowler with Hanahan Police said there was not another officer to send to meet the speeding vehicle elsewhere.

"Due to our size, we don't always have two officers in the immediate area. There was not another officer in that area that could've picked it up," Fowler said.

Police said several factors include whether they will follow a vehicle that speeds away. Factors included time of day, as in whether children are outside, road conditions and the violation for which the car is being pulled over.

"If this had been in the middle of the day with people out and about, then the supervisor more than likely would have called it off," he said. "The tag came back stolen. So that's generally a precursor to more serious stuff going on."

Green understood the discrepancy between Wednesday night's chase and a driver eluding a routine traffic stop.

"It's different if it's a severe crime happening and they're taking off," Green said.

For the mother of three, it's a balance between catching criminals and keeping her family safe.


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