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Sarasota Police Department STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE Title: POLICE VEHICLE OPERATION Established: September 1, 2005 Number: 406.00 Last Revised: July 1, 2013 Distribution: All Personnel Last Reviewed: July 1, 2013 Annexes: None 406.10 PURPOSE: 406.11 To establish policy and procedure for police vehicle operations concerning routine driving, levels of response to calls for service, and police vehicle pursuits. It also provides for an administrative review of incidents involving police vehicle pursuits. 406.20 POLICY: 406.21 The discretionary decision to initiate an emergency response shall be based upon the seriousness of the incident, possibility of an arrest, conditions of the police vehicle, vehicular and pedestrian traffic, roadway conditions and the possibility for injury or property damage. 406.22 Public safety is a prime responsibility of the Sarasota Police Department and the protection of life and property are the primary functions of any police officer. The department recognizes its responsibilities in apprehending offenders but is also aware that officers involved in a pursuit are more likely be involved in a crash than during normal vehicle operations. Driving a patrol car is the most dangerous activity officers are exposed to while on duty. The use of emergency equipment combined with high speeds can expose officers and citizens to life threatening injuries and/or property damage. Therefore, it is paramount that when entering into a pursuit officers must make a decision, based on the totality of the circumstances, which balances the need to apprehend the criminal with the need to protect the officer and others from the dangers associated with a pursuit. The necessity of immediate apprehension must outweigh the level of danger created by a pursuit. Officers and supervisors will be accountable for their actions, or inactions, during any pursuit. 406.23 The Sarasota Police Department shall conduct an administrative review of all incidents involving police vehicle pursuits. 406.24 Department policy should not be construed as a creation of a higher legal standard of safety or care in an evidentiary sense with respect to third party claims. 406.30 DEFINITIONS: 406.30.1 AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE: “Vehicles of the fire department (fire patrol), police vehicles, and such ambulances and emergency vehicles of municipal departments, public service corporations operated by private corporations, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health, and the Department 1

Sarasota Police Pursuit Policy

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