All posts tagged: #PursuitResponse

BAD OUTCOMES 2: Monona continues down a dangerous path

No comments

A few weeks ago we wrote about some truly poor decisions made by the Monona City Council (MCC) and the Monona Police Department (MOPD). You can read that article here:  BAD OUTCOMES: Monona’s Poor Decision to Weaken Police Pursuit Policy in 2022 Results in Unnecessary Deaths

We sincerely hoped, after the still-unexplained pursuit that killed three people, Monona would come to its senses and permanently revert to their previous pursuit policy limiting when officers can pursue (e.g. not for misdemeanors or non violent-felony actions).

Sadly, we should have known better…

The taxi in which Paul Farris (PFC Chief Advocate’s son) and Walid Chahine were killed and Katelyn Hoyt was grievously injured. May 27, 2007. Somerville, MA

Monona logged 249 pursuits from 2019 through 2023.

The sheriff’s office, which patrols areas not covered by municipal police departments, participated in the next most, or 213. Madison saw 112 during that same period. Madison.com

So where is MOPD now. Let’s see.

First was the Chief’s interview very soon after the deadly pursuit. His January 5th “statement” is a lesson in dredging for any possible reason to “justify” a weak policy. This is IDENTICAL to statements made by virtually every other agency with equally weak and mismanaged pursuit policies. You can read that @WKOW story here:  ‘The officer was acting lawfully’: Monona Police chief speaks out following fatal pursuit.

Second, as predicted, on January 17th the MOPD announced their decision to reinstate the “open” pursuit policy and let officers pretty much chase for any reason (e.g. just say “reckless” and then it’s OK).  I mean, the DCI hasn’t even finished their investigation of the January 3rd pursuit and deaths, yet MOPD wants to start chasing even more – again???  Yet another BAD DECISION.

In this Madison.com article, Monona moves to reinstate police pursuit policy after fatal New Year’s Day crash, the Chief was quoted:

“He said the decision not to pursue a suspect could result in more danger to the public than if police do try to pull over a vehicle, such as when a driver appears extremely intoxicated. “Reckless driving, drunk driving, drugged driving, dangerous driving kills every day,” he said. “In this country it has taken so many lives.””

So let’s think about this.

If an officer believes a suspect is truly drunk, drugged or impaired in any other manner, why in world would a city allow that officer to CHASE them – at even higher, more dangerous speeds.

That driver is IMPAIRED. Chasing them does not make them less impaired – rather it creates a situation where the likelihood of that impairment causing great bodily harm to others is increased exponentially.  

We should not lay all the blame for poor decisions on the new Chief.  The Monona City Council, and perhaps Alderman Patrick DePula specifically, carry the greatest culpability in allowing such a policy to be reinstated.

The Council will be back in the news, very likely in 2024, when more INNOCENT CITIZENS are killed or maimed in an unnecessary misdemeanor violation police chase. I suspect the city’s insurer may be interested in the history of MOPD’s policies, because the likelihood of a justified, multi-million dollar lawsuit, is imminent under current policies.

Oh, MOPD, did you know that there are technology and driver training tools available designed to PREVENT UNNECESSARY PURSUITS?  Yes, there are.

It breaks my heart that others will also need live with the knowledge that a poorly thought out decision and a misguided pursuit policy took the life of someone they love. I hope it’s not a member of your family or a close friend…

 

And finally.

Just in case you think we’re the only ones who think that MOPD’s pursuit policy is bad, we’re not.  Read the excellent 1/21/2024 WSJ opinion. [Wisconsin State Journal] OUR VIEW: Monona should rethink, tighten policy on police pursuits in wake of triple-fatal crash

adminBAD OUTCOMES 2: Monona continues down a dangerous path
read more

RECKLESS PURSUITS – Kansas City Star 2024 Series

No comments

I’ve had the honor of working with reporter Katie Moore at the Kansas City Star over the past several months. She and Glenn Rice have published the first in a series of eight, relating to out of control police chases in the Kansas City metro area.  This particular article is truly EXCELLENT.  Great detail, heartfelt, and really well written.

I always appreciate the opportunity to support the media and I’m glad to have been involved here.

Jonathan Farris – Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change


Image KC Star

Police chases in KC metro kill bystanders. One department chases more than any other

 

BY KATIE MOORE AND GLENN E. RICE
UPDATED JANUARY 19, 2024 12:13 PM

 

When Jake Monteer was 12, his father let him take his motorcycle for a spin near their home on Spruce Street in Bates City.

Jake climbed on, confident that he could keep it upright. And he was off. In some ways, he never looked back.

Growing up in the small town just east of Kansas City, Jake’s passion for motorcycles only grew. As an adult, he learned how to fix bikes and rode from daylight to dark.

“I think he just liked feeling free,” his father, David Monteer, said.

Jake Monteer was 41 years old last March, when he and a friend hopped on his motorcycle with a pizza to share. They were driving in Independence when a Jeep, fleeing police in a high-speed chase, hit them.

They both died.

“It feels like part of your heart is ripped out,” David Monteer said during an interview with The Star.

As weeks and months passed, he and his wife Terri Monteer learned more about the circumstances of their son’s death. They found out that police were chasing the Jeep because it was stolen and not for a more serious crime. That one of the officers in the chase had been involved in a previous pursuit that left four people dead. And that it was when police laid down stop sticks in front of the Jeep that it lost control and hit their son’s motorcycle.

“Since when is a stolen vehicle worth somebody’s life?” David Monteer said. “That’s my question.” It’s a question other families have asked after previous high-speed pursuits by Independence police that seem to repeat the same pattern again and again.

Read the rest of the story at the Kansas City Star website – HERE

A few stats from their research – also posted in the KC Star article.  Disturbing to say the least:

Police Chase Findings Reporters interviewed local police leaders, national law enforcement experts, academics who study chases and advocates for safer policing. The results of their reporting are being published in an eight-part series.

  • In 2022, more than 1,200 police chases took place in the Kansas City metro, resulting in over 150 crashes and 51 injuries. Independence accounted for 33% of those injuries.
  • The Independence Police Department initiated 330 chases in 2022. Kansas City, which is four times larger in population but has a more restrictive policy governing police chases, recorded 98.
  • Over the past six years, eight people have died in chases involving Independence officers. Six were innocent bystanders, one was a passenger in a fleeing car and one was a fleeing driver.
  • According to a report by the Police Executive Research Forum, 70% of police departments placed narrow restrictions on when a chase is warranted. In the Kansas City metro, the rate is about 56%.
  • Where data was available, 17% of the chases violated department policy.

 

adminRECKLESS PURSUITS – Kansas City Star 2024 Series
read more

BAD OUTCOMES: Monona’s Poor Decision to Weaken Police Pursuit Policy in 2022 Results in Unnecessary Deaths

No comments

by Jon Farris, Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

BAD OUTCOMES: Monona’s Poor Decision to Weaken Police Pursuit Policy in 2022 Results in Unnecessary Deaths

During the past several weeks, police chases in Monona have taken an even more horrible and deadly turn. READ MORE HERE

But this should not be unexpected.

“In November 2022, the Monona City Council approved a change to the policy governing when police can engage in vehicle pursuits, removing the requirement that the people being pursued must be suspected of having committed a violent felony or that they were about to commit one.” The new policy included a dozen factors for officers to consider when deciding whether to pursue a fleeing vehicle, including “whether the suspect represents a serious threat to public safety,” “the safety of the public in the area of the pursuit” and whether the person fleeing has been identified and could be safely arrested later. That expanded a previous policy, adopted in 2020, in which the City Council changed the requirement that police have “reasonable suspicion” that a violent felony had been committed to instead permit pursuits if police had “probable cause” that such a crime had occurred.” READ MORE HERE

This decision, as anyone with even an ounce of common sense would know, has resulted in more pursuits, crashes, injuries and deaths. READ MORE HERE

And let’s talk very briefly about leadership. Brian Chaney has been Monona’s police chief for only a short while, and he came from the Madison PD, which maintains a safe pursuit policy. However Chief Chaney’s recent comment mimics the bluster made by Milwaukee’s Chief in 2018, after they opened up virtually unlimited pursuits.
We don’t play,’ Monona police chief warns criminals after two chases.

This is not what leadership is about. What message does this send to his officers? And it definitely provides NO VALUE in reducing crime. Criminals do not open the newspaper to see what the Chief is saying, nor do they care even if they do hear it or read it online. Get real folks.

However, off the cuff comments like this can embolden Monona police officers to make poor decisions, likely not made under prior leadership or when following stricter engagement and pursuit policies.

If all of this seems like déjà vu, it should, because Monona is heading in the same direction as the Milwaukee Police Department.

BAD DECISIONS. BAD OUTCOMES. PEOPLE DYING.

In 2017, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission FORCED the Chief to loosen what was one of the better police pursuit policies in the United States. And every moment since then has resulted in horrible outcomes, including deaths of innocent citizens and police officers.

THIS IS WHERE MONONA IS HEADING. MOPD AND THE MONONA CITY COUNCIL NEED TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND REASSESS THEIR CURRENT, WEAK PURSUIT POLICY THAT EXPOSES CITIZENS AND OFFICERS TO UNNECESSARY INJURIES AND DEATH.

Milwaukee Police chases have skyrocketed in the last five years. READ STORY HERE

Here’s an article we wrote, showing results from Milwaukee’s pursuit police change. And as in virtually every city, when policies are weakened, more citizens die…

Opinion: Milwaukee Gambles with Citizen and Officer Lives. December 10, 2018
On Thursday, December 6, the Milwaukee Police Department announced that carjackings were down and @Fox6Now Milwaukee  reported that “police credit change in pursuit policy for dramatic decrease in carjackings.” This is a story about the City of Milwaukee and their quest to reduce joyriding and stolen vehicles. It is an honorable mission, but they are using a very deadly battle plan … Continue reading

 

So what do truly experienced and more rational law enforcement professionals have to say about police chases? NHTSA and the Department of Justice’s COPS Office asked the Police Executives Research Forum (PERF) to develop vehicular pursuit guidelines for police departments and sheriffs’ offices. They will tell you that Monona is doing it wrong…

PERF REPORT SUMMARY:

The report contains 65 recommendations across six topics:
   – agency philosophy and policy standards;
   – the role of a supervisor;
   – pursuit interventions, pursuit alternatives, and technology for managing risks;
   – post-pursuit reporting;
   – training; and
   – community engagement.

They recommend that agencies only pursue suspects when two conditions are met: (1) a violent crime has been committed and (2) the suspect poses an imminent threat to commit another violent crime.  Links to everything about the PERF Report is in an earlier published article HERE.

Chief Chaney and the Monona City Council need to strongly reassess the current pursuit policy. If they continue with no changes, Monona residents can expect to see MORE DEATHS, MORE INJURIES, LAWSUITS WITH MILLION-DOLLAR JUDGEMENTS AGAINST THE CITY, MORE EXPENSIVE INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR THE CITY and more…

I told the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission this exact same message in 2017, but they didn’t listen. And in 2018 a police officer was killed, several innocent citizens were killed, and the lawsuits commenced.  All of these outcomes and problems continue unabated in 2024.

I truly hope Monona makes the smart decision…

adminBAD OUTCOMES: Monona’s Poor Decision to Weaken Police Pursuit Policy in 2022 Results in Unnecessary Deaths
read more

Houston Chronicle Police Pursuit Investigative Series – 2023

2 comments

For many months I’ve been working with , an investigative reporter at the Houston Chronicle. She and other HC staff have done / and continue to dig into Houston’s HORRIBLE #PoliceChase actions and outcomes.

This has turned into a multi-part series which YOU REALLY NEED TO READ – their findings are amazing and frightening.

Here are the first 5 stories. I’ll continue to post as they publish more in 2024.

Jonathan Farris, Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change
11/2/2023

@andreeball @houstonchron


How Houston evades blame for bystanders wounded by high-speed police chases

What is left of a memorial for Carl Wiley, 35, who was killed at the intersection of Wilcrest Drive and Meadowglen Lane in February 2022.

Photographed on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023 in Houston.
Elizabeth Conley/Staff Photographer

Dec 28, 2023

When you’re victimized by a high-speed police chase in Houston — when your relative dies in a crash, when a fleeing vehicle sideswipes your car, when you are maimed — justice will likely elude you.

The city fights you. They’ll refuse to pay.

The courts stifle you. They’ll dismiss your case.

The lawyers reject you. They’ll say it’s not worth it.

The system that should right wrongs will almost never help innocent bystanders.

The Houston Police Department’s policies led to a 47% increase in high-speed pursuits between 2018 and 2022, peaking at more than 1,500 last year. One in three of those chases resulted in a crash, injuring or killing at least 240 innocent bystanders. A least 10 of them died.

Meanwhile, untold numbers of people have suffered damage to their houses, sheds, cars, lawns, mailboxes and other personal property.

Yet almost none of them got any relief from the city to help cover their losses, a Chronicle investigation found.

Read the rest of the story HERE


A police chase plowed over an innocent bystander. Scorched and mangled, now he wants answers.

Courtney Lane lifted his heavy eyelids for the first time in two days.
He slowly scanned the room for clues. Medical bed. Clear tubes in his veins. Fresh white bandages bulged from his arms, legs, shoulder and chest.

He pushed through the haze of painkillers as memories of the crash returned in fragments.

Sitting in traffic on his motorcycle on Feb. 21, waiting for the light to change. The banging of metal. The flaming gas tank. The Honda Accord dragging him 150 feet up North Houston Rosslyn Road as it bashed its way through traffic, with police in pursuit.

The hovering helicopter. The anxious medic. Then nothing.

Read the rest of the story is here:

 


HPD sees high-speed chases plunge 40% after Chief Troy Finner implements tighter policies

High-speed chases initiated by Houston police have dropped 40 percent in the month since Police Chief Troy Finner tightened pursuit policies, the chief told members of the City Council on Wednesday.

Chase-related collisions also dropped 35 percent this month compared with the monthly average so far this year, Finner said.

Finner said the department was “forced to change the policy” due to a steady increase of pursuits and pursuit-related crashes, injuries and deaths over the past year. So far in October, there have been 46 pursuits reported, according to data provided to council members. There were 132 pursuits in August, the last full month before the changes were made Sept. 14.

“In this city, violent individuals commit crimes in those vehicles,” he said. “So we can’t just abandon the pursuits. But we are working smart.”

Finner said the new policy has also led to more successful pursuit terminations. Over the past month alone, pursuits terminations have increased by 35 percent, he said.

Read the rest of the story is here:

 


HPD to halt police chases for certain offenses in major change aimed at safety

Members of the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Departments work the scene of a fatal accident after a police chase involving two suspect in a stolen vehicle ended at Martin Luther King Boulavard and Ben Fleet Street, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Houston. Gloria Collins, the mother of an HPD sergeant, died. Two others were injured. 

Members of the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Departments work the scene of a fatal accident after a police chase involving two suspect in a stolen vehicle ended at Martin Luther King Boulavard and Ben Fleet Street, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Houston. Gloria Collins, the mother of an HPD sergeant, died. Two others were injured. 

Houston’s police chief unveiled sweeping changes to the department’s vehicle pursuit policy Thursday that might have prevented hundreds of crashes, had those changes been made earlier.

From 2018 through 2022, eight people died and 137 were injured after officers chased 2,200 drivers suspected only of traffic violations or failing to stop for police. Now, those practices are banned, Chief Troy Finner said.

“We’ve got to do even better, and the system as a whole has to do better,” the chief said.

Under the new policy, officers can no longer chase drivers suspected of Class C offenses, such as theft and minor traffic violations — the leading cause of HPD vehicle pursuits in the past five years, a Houston Chronicle analysis found.

HPD will also stop chasing people suspected of having traffic or nonviolent misdemeanor warrants, although supervisors can continue to approve chases of suspects in ongoing investigations and people driving vehicles with stolen license plates, no plates or plates that belong on another vehicle.

Read the rest of the story is here:

 


HPD’s loose policy enables rise in high-speed chases that killed bystanders

High-speed chases launched by the Houston Police Department increased 47 percent over a five-year period, killing more than two dozen people and injuring hundreds more, a Houston Chronicle investigation has found.

Between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2022, officers engaged in 6,303 chases. Twenty-seven people died during those pursuits, and at least 740 people were injured.

At least 240 of the dead and injured were bystanders, including a man who’d just left a grocery store, a man walking to get a haircut and a Lyft driver with a passenger in his car.

To document the toll high-speed chases are taking citywide, the Chronicle analyzed more than 5,000 post-pursuit forms filled out by officers, filed a dozen-plus public information requests and spoke to family members of bystanders who were killed.

Read the rest of the story is here:

 

adminHouston Chronicle Police Pursuit Investigative Series – 2023
read more

2023. Seventeen Birthdays

No comments

November 2, 2023
17 Birthdays

Here we go again. Another year, another birthday.  Had Paul lived he’d be celebrating his 40th birthday today.  Today is the 17th missed birthday since his death as an innocent in a #PoliceChase.

This year he’d have so many thoughts on what’s happening around the world. In 2006 Paul traveled with a group of students to visit Israel. He was introduced to their history, their sights, their people and so much more. It was a wonderful experience. 

   

So I wonder about Paul’s reactions to today’s events
  • to the heinous Hamas extremist attacks on and killings of innocent Israelis
  • to Israel’s actions to find and exterminate extremist Hamas members
  • to the deaths of the innocent, non-combatant Palestinians
  • to the deaths, absolute horrors and atrocities in Ukraine
  • to the hate – seemingly spewing everywhere – across our country and across this troubled world  
For sure he’d be appalled and incredibly sad. And perhaps he’d be engaged in meaningful efforts to enact positive changes.  I’d like to think so.
Pray for the killing to stop and dream for the miracle of peace. 
I miss you Paul – today on your birthday, and every other day – forever.
         – Jonathan Farris, Dad and Chief Advocate of Pursuit For Change
admin2023. Seventeen Birthdays
read more

Sometimes Screams Are Heard

No comments

Sometimes screams aren’t heard.

I suspect that was the case when I received a call at 4:00 AM telling me my son Paul had been killed in a car crash. That was on May 27, 2007, a lifetime ago.

And when, shortly later, I learned that his death was caused because of a totally unnecessary, minor traffic violation police pursuit, my screams increased.

And so came my entrance into the advocacy to change mindsets regarding the necessity of police pursuits for anything other than for violent felonies. I’ve been “screaming” ever since.

Well, sometimes your screams are heard. And sometimes those who hear DO want to help.

Below are links to a recently completed study and comprehensive review of police pursuits. This project was supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number 2020-CK-WX-K035 awarded to the Police Executive Research Forum by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The publication is distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the interest of information exchange

So what will become of this report and these excellent recommendations?  I don’t know, but I’ll keep screaming until legislators and law enforcement hears that chasing until the wheels fall off is both stupid and danger, and changes are necessary.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Jonathan Farris
Chief Advocate
Pursuit For Change

@chester_jonah @jennifergollan @andreeball @katie_reports #PursuitForChange @PursuitResponse @StarChaseLLC #PursuitReductionTech @FAACsimulators @PursuitAlert @SpartanTekOrg @OnStar @benjordan3


September 23, 2023

Police pursuit policies should be more restrictive to save lives

By Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, PERF
COMPLETE LETTER IS HERE:
https://www.policeforum.org/trending23sep23

PERF members,

Vehicle pursuits are part of what distinguishes the police from any other occupation. Hollywood has recognized this and featured pursuits in many films. Growing up, I remember watching Gene Hackman commandeer a citizen’s car and take it on a harrowing chase as an NYPD detective in “The French Connection.” But, as you all know, the reality of police pursuits is anything but glamorous.

Earlier this week you received PERF’s new report on pursuits. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal crashes involving police pursuits kill more than one person every day; 525 people were killed in 2021, and 545 were killed in 2020. According to Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) data from 2009 to 2013, 21 percent of those seriously injured in police pursuits are individuals not involved in the pursuit….

 

…The report contains 65 recommendations across six topics: agency philosophy and policy standards; the role of a supervisor; pursuit interventions, pursuit alternatives, and technology for managing risks; post-pursuit reporting; training; and community engagement. We recommend that agencies only pursue suspects when two conditions are met: (1) a violent crime has been committed and (2) the suspect poses an imminent threat to commit another violent crime. 

The rest of the story:  https://www.policeforum.org/trending23sep23

The Complete Report:  https://portal.cops.usdoj.gov/resourcecenter/content.ashx/cops-r1134-pub.pdf

 

adminSometimes Screams Are Heard
read more

Milwaukee Police Department’s in the News – and not in a good way.

No comments

And the beat goes on…

Police chases in Milwaukee surge in recent years

I truly appreciate Jonah’s comments in this email:

On Aug 2, 2023, at 6:20 AM, Jonah wrote:
Hi Jonathan,
As promised, here’s a link to the story: 
Thank you again for agreeing to chat with me for the story, your expertise and perspective was extremely valuable.
And a HUGE thank you for alerting me to the flaws in police pursuit reporting data. After our conversation, I began taking a closer look at the injury reports I’d received through my record requests and noticed several missing deadly pursuits. I reached out to the MPD for comment on those, and it turns out they initially gave me a bad batch of data which under-reported third party deaths and injuries and over-reported police injuries. They issued updated and corrected numbers just a few hours before we were set to publish. I probably wouldn’t have caught those flaws if it weren’t for your comments on faulty data.
-Jonah
@chester_jonah @jennifergollan @andreeball @katie_reports #PursuitForChange @PursuitResponse @StarChaseLLC #PursuitReductionTech @FAACsimulators @PursuitAlert @SpartanTekOrg @OnStar

Hot pursuit: Milwaukee police chases now top 1,000 per year. Some prove deadly.

Milwaukee sees a surge in police pursuits in years since loosening policy to target reckless drivers. Critics say the trend makes streets more dangerous.
Reading Time: 10 minutesNews414 is a service journalism collaboration between Wisconsin Watch and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service that addresses the specific issues, interests, perspectives and information needs identified by residents of central city Milwaukee neighborhoods. Learn more at our website or sign up for our texting service her

  • Correction: A previous version of this story included an incorrect figure for the number of fatal Milwaukee police pursuits in 2023 and incorrect percentages of pursuits ending in injuries from 2007 to 2022.

At 1:06 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2019, Le’Quon McCoy was driving through a North Side Milwaukee intersection when the driver of a stolen Buick Encore ran a flashing red light and crashed into McCoy’s Jeep Renegade.

The speeding driver, who was fleeing police, hit McCoy’s Jeep so hard that it bounced off a tree on one side of the road and into a parked car on the other side. McCoy, 19, died at the scene.

“He got off work around like 9 or 10 at night. He stopped here to see me,” his mother, Antoinette Broomfield recalled.   READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

adminMilwaukee Police Department’s in the News – and not in a good way.
read more

Sixteen Years. May 27, 2023

No comments

16 Years

by Jon Farris

16 YEARS.  192 MONTHS.  5,843 DAYS.  140,253 HOURS.  8,415,187 MINUTES.  504,911,220 SECONDS

It simply doesn’t matter how you measure it.

May 27, 2023 is the 16th anniversary of Paul Farrisand Walid Chahine’s deaths, and my heart has never been the same.

They were killed by a man fleeing police (#PoliceChase) – running through the dark and densely packed streets of Somerville, MA. The fleeing man was driving at 75 miles per hour, pursued by a State Trooper, when he broadsided the taxi driven by Walid and in which Paul and Katelyn were passengers. Paul was thrown from the taxi and died immediately. Walid was grievously injured and passed a week later. Kate survived, hospitalized for months, with doctors saying it was a miracle she lived.

Fast forward to April, 2023. The man who stole Paul and Walid’s lives walked away from prison, free but on parole for the next 15 years.  I hope, with all of my heart, that he doesn’t drive again and doesn’t endanger your sons, daughters, moms, dads, best friends or others…

 

We miss you, Paul.

Dad


Random thoughts…

Music was a huge part of Paul’s life, as it is for me.  I dream that Paul is still playing and singing his music – in a better place.

                                     Paul Farris singing – circa 2005

I think if Paul was still here that he’d be horrified by the death and destruction in Ukraine. Here’s a song by his college band, theMark.

theMark “Faith in Flight”. LISTEN HERE

I’m so tired
Of guns on my mind
Lives fall away
When shells and tempers fly.

And if I should die
When stars and stripes collide
And every soldier loses faith in flight.

Stay home next time
And keep your shoes tied.


Many different songs remind me of Paul. And many bring tears even after so long. Two are linked here.

Riverside “Towards the Blue Horizon”

Where are you now my friend?
I miss those days
I hope they take good care of you there
And you can still play the guitar
And sing your songs
I just miss those days
And miss you so
Wish I could be strong
When darkness comes

Soen “River”

All these words that I left unspoken
I will say when I meet you again.
I see you but I can’t feel your presence
I feel you but you’re fading away.

adminSixteen Years. May 27, 2023
read more

16 Missed Birthdays

No comments

16 Missed Birthdays

By Jon Farris – Paul Farris’ dad and Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

 

Every year on November 2nd I post a note in remembrance of my son, Paul, about the birthday celebrations we’ve missed since his senseless death. This will be the 16th one.

It’s easy for me to remember Paul and the many happy birthdays we spent with family and friends. Some days it seems as though these were only yesterday, but no…

We miss you buddy. So very much.

 

Whenever I need a dose of inner peace, I listen to Paul’s music. You can hear all of Paul’s music at PaulFarris.org/Music.
And here’s Faith in Flight, from theMark‘s album The Catastrophist, with Alec O. playing guitar: https://paulfarris.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/04-Faith-in-Flight.mp3

Paul & Alec. theMark. Tuft’s Spring Fling 2004

 

Paul Farris birthday 1993

Paul 2004

Paul 2003

admin16 Missed Birthdays
read more

‘How many people have to lose their lives?’

No comments

I could not have said this any better.

Jennifer Myrick, the mother of Alecia Garcia who was killed in a #PoliceChase, speaks out about police-pursuit policies. Our hearts go out to her for the loss of her daughter

‘How many people have to lose their lives?’ Crash victim’s mother speaks out

 

Photo courtesy of @WHBF

admin‘How many people have to lose their lives?’
read more

Man Arrested for Police Pursuit after $20 Walmart Theft

No comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is simply NO REASON for law enforcement to be elevating a Walmart theft into a DANGEROUS POLICE PURSUIT the endangers so many innocent citizens.  

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved with this situation. Thankfully and luckily, no bystanders were injured or killed. Law enforcement agencies must create smarter and stricter pursuit policies so this just does not happen.

 


41-Year-Old Arrested for High-Speed Chase after 20 Dollar Walmart Theft

 

A high-speed chase occurred after a theft at Walmart around 2 pm on Monday.

According to early reports a call from Walmart to a person who had stolen several items including a hat, deodorant, and other small items with the possibility of leaving the store. Associates attempted to stop the suspect but he pushed through running out of the store.

He got into a White Sonata that was waiting for him and left the parking lot that’s when the sheriff’s department attempted to stop the vehicle in front of Taco Bell on US-23 but instead of stopping he put his foot on the gas.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

 

 

 

adminMan Arrested for Police Pursuit after $20 Walmart Theft
read more

Dangerous rush-hour police crash raises concerns (Fox31 Colorado)

No comments

Dangerous rush-hour police crash raises concerns

 

by: 
Posted: Updated: 

DENVER (KDVR) — Questions have arisen about the Denver Police Department’s pursuit policy after officers chased and stopped a car on Interstate 225, causing a high-speed crash in rush hour traffic.

The suspect had been involved in a Denver shooting hours earlier at the Bass Pro Shops on Northfield Boulevard.

Dominique Hall and her family were stuck in traffic when the crash happened next to them near I-225 and Colfax Avenue.

“All of a sudden out of nowhere, we hear tires screeching and a loud bang. Then, we see the car go past us all. Shrapnel from both cars the police SUV and the suspect’s car was just everywhere,” said Hall, of Aurora.

See the video and read the rest of the story HERE.

adminDangerous rush-hour police crash raises concerns (Fox31 Colorado)
read more

Pursuit policy questioned after deaths in I-25 crash

No comments

“Jonathan Farris, an advocate for the nonprofit Pursuit for Change, an organization that pushes for safer police pursuit policies, called the Santa Fe Police Department’s chase policy vague and said it doesn’t give much direction for when an officer should give up on a pursuit.”

Pursuit policy questioned after deaths in I-25 crash

By Sean P. Thomas sthomas@sfnewmexican.com Mar 19, 2022 Updated Mar 20, 2022

Jeannine Jaramillo’s alleged crimes in Santa Fe and Cibola counties within months of each other are strikingly similar: stolen cars, reckless chases and claims of a kidnapper or male aggressor who doesn’t appear to exist.

The outcomes widely differ.

When Jaramillo was suspected of leading Cibola County deputies into oncoming traffic at high speeds in September 2021, they called off the pursuit. They later found the stolen vehicle at a residence and took Jaramillo into custody, according to records of the case.

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE

 


FBI tactical squad members approach a command center March 2 on Interstate 25 near Old Pecos Trail after a Santa Fe police officer and another motorist, a retired firefighter, were killed in a multiple-car crash during a police pursuit.   Jim Weber/New Mexican file photo

UPDATE:

We have asked Mr. Thomas to post one correction. This statement “Farris, whose son Paul Farris was killed in 2007 when a cab he was riding in was struck by a Massachusetts state trooper chasing a driver suspected of a traffic violation…” is incorrect.  In actuality, the cab Paul was riding in was struck by the fleeing driver’s SUV, and not by the Trooper.  An important clarification.

adminPursuit policy questioned after deaths in I-25 crash
read more

Trooper was traveling 100+ mph before slamming into car

No comments

November 08, 2021 at 11:07 pm EST
By Ted Daniel, Boston 25 News
@tvnewzted @Boston25

Note from PFC: At 101 miles per hour the Trooper’s SUV was traveling more than 148 feet per second and can cover a half mile in just 20 seconds.  Innocent victim Sarah Stevens should never have been put in this situation.

25 Investigates: Trooper was traveling 100+ mph before slamming into car, critically injuring nurse

The trooper was racing to join a pursuit several towns away, MSP documents show

LEOMINSTER, Mass. — She was on her commute back home to Fitchburg that January night last year when Sarah Stevens says her life was changed.

The 30-year-old emergency room nurse stopped at the Wendy’s on N. Main Street in Leominster following a 12-hour shift at Lowell General and was exiting the parking lot when, she says, the sudden and violent impact happened. An unmarked state police cruiser slammed into the driver’s side of her Ford Focus.

Sarah Stevens (photos from Boston25 News)

The January 29, 2020 crash totaled her car and shattered her body.

“I know that I was in the coma for about a week. I fractured my shoulder, had eight broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a bleeding kidney,” recalled Stevens. “I had brain bleeds, a dissected carotid artery. They also had to go in and put a coil in my kidney to stop the bleeding.”

See the video and read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

adminTrooper was traveling 100+ mph before slamming into car
read more

November 2, 2021

No comments

November 2, 2021
Fifteen Birthdays

Last year I posted a note about Paul’s birthday. It’s so hard to believe that another year has passed us by.  I thought, given the world’s issues, I’d post an updated version of that note.
Peace.  – Jonathan Farris, Dad, Gatekeeper of PaulFarris.org and Chief Advocate of Pursuit For Change

Some of our readers will envision this particular Tuesday as a year after the United States’ most contentious Presidential election. And that contention continues today through lies and hate. Paul would be appalled.

Some of our readers remain anxious about the pandemic and the devastation caused to individuals, families, countries and the world. As of my writing this, 769,299 people have died in the US and over 5,000,000 have died worldwide. Horrible beyond mere words.

But on November 2, 2021 I take a moment to forget the noise, to forget the pandemic, and instead focus on wonderful memories.

Paul Farris was stolen from us in 2007. And 2021 will be the 15th missed birthday. This is unimaginable to me.

We would have mailed or emailed Paul a cute birthday card, texted him a funny greeting and then spoken to him after work. The way it’s supposed to be.

He would be heartbroken that such a horrendous chapter of history continues in 2021. However, I suspect that in addition to being despondent, he’d be engaged doing whatever he could to make a better future for all of us.

Or perhaps he’d just be sitting around drinking beer. We’ll never know…

 

Just like every birthday, and indeed every single day, we miss you immensely.

Paul & theMark early 2000’s

Paul a very long time ago…

adminNovember 2, 2021
read more

Atlanta City Council To Consider Pursuit Policy Changes

No comments

So so many heartbreaking stories.

City Council committee to consider police pursuit changes

HAYLEY MASON
UPDATED 14 HRS AGO | POSTED ON JUN 28, 2021

ATLANTA (CBS46) — Joi and Doug Partridge will never forget the day they lost their two children Cameron and Layla, and Joi’s mother, Dorothy Wright. Wright was driving her grandchildren to church when she was hit by the driver of a stolen car fleeing from police in 2016 in Southwest Atlanta.

“It really hurts because I lost my parent and my two kids,” Joi Partridge told CBS46’s Hayley Mason.

Read the rest of the story here: https://www.cbs46.com/news/city-council-committee-to-consider-police-pursuit-changes/article_83d4b2cc-d880-11eb-b4ea-fbde3d93bfdc.html

@CBS46

adminAtlanta City Council To Consider Pursuit Policy Changes
read more

2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens

No comments

2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens

by Jon Farris

Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

Let me say this AGAIN.

Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens.

Please see Elliot Hughes (@ElliotHughes12) Journal-Sentinel (@JournalSentinel) article at https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2021/06/16/milwaukee-reckless-driving-boy-16-dies-after-stolen-car-crash/5295939001/

Police said officers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle on the 9900 block of West Good Hope Road shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, but it instead led them on a chase and eventually crossed over into oncoming traffic.
Police said the pursuit was then terminated, but the car continued to drive against traffic and hit another vehicle head-on at 50 to 60 miles an hour

In 2017, against the wishes of then Chief of Police Ed Flynn, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission MANDATED a WEAKENING of Milwaukee’s good pursuit policy – a policy which SAVED LIVES.  And as a result of that change, Milwaukee’s 2018 pursuits were up 239 percent, (https://pursuitforchange.org/advocacy/an-open-letter-to-milwaukee-police-chief-alfonso-morales-and-the-milwaukee-fire-and-police-commission/) with each of those chases endangering officers and citizens. How could anyone consider that to be a good thing?

Then, sadly as I had warned and predicted in 2017 (https://pursuitforchange.org/advocacy/statement-for-the-milwaukee-fire-police-commission/), one of MPD’s officers was killed in 2018. Officer Charles Irvine died in a pursuit related crash . Officer Irvine was the same age as my son, killed in an unnecessary police pursuit.

Officer Irvine’s death was completely preventable.

But instead, Milwaukee chose to double down and chase even more stolen vehicles, KNOWINGLY ENDANGERING many many citizens each and every time.

So FOUR YEARS after making a truly CRITICAL MISTAKE, Milwaukee continues to endanger, maim and kill citizens while NOT solving anything. Is this incompetence or simply a blatant disregard for the area’s population?

PS:  Oh, I almost forgot. Milwaukee is working on yet more billboards. Just brilliant…

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article above:

“A cadre of city officials announced a new billboard campaign discouraging reckless driving. And they all touched on the troubling problem of people as young as 12 years old stealing cars and using them for joyriding and driving dangerously.”

And from the original campaign: (https://pursuitforchange.org/voices-of-victims/a-father-who-lost-his-innocent-bystander-son-in-a-police-chase-criticizes-milwaukee-billboard-campaign/). It was ineffective then and remains ineffective now.

 

PPS: If you search the News page for Milwaukee posts, you’ll find many, especially in 2017-2019…

admin2021 UPDATE: Milwaukee’s 2017 Incredibly Stupid Decision to Dramatically Increase Dangerous Pursuits Continues to Kill and Maim Innocent Citizens
read more

May There Always Be Music & Light In Your Life

No comments

Greetings from the end of an insane year. I have to tell you, I’m glad 2020 is heading out the door. Wow.
Happy Holidays,
Jon

2020 Holiday Greetings
from the Farris family, our companies & our advocacy

 

Original photograph by Jon Farris
Photograph taken at the Basilica of Notre Dame, Montreal

 

Please visit our holiday card collection at https://insurancerescue.com/holiday-cards/

adminMay There Always Be Music & Light In Your Life
read more

November 2, 2020

No comments

November 2, 2020
Fourteen Birthdays

By Jonathan Farris, Dad and Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

Many of our readers will envision this particular Monday as the day before one of the United States’ most contentious Presidential elections.

Some of our readers are worried about the COVID19 pandemic and devastation caused to individuals, families, countries and the world. As of my writing this, 234,000 people have died in the US and 1,200,000 have died worldwide. Horrible beyond mere words.

But on November 2, 2020 I will take a moment to forget this election, to forget the pandemic, and to instead focus on good memories.

Paul Farris was taken from us in May of 2007. And 2020 will be his 14th missed birthday. Unimaginable.

I suspect given the current state of things, we would have emailed Paul a silly card, texted a funny greeting and then spoken to him when he finished work.

He would be heartbroken that such a horrendous chapter of history is being written in 2020. However, I suspect that in addition to being despondent, he’d be engaged doing whatever he could to make a better future for our world.

Or perhaps he’d just be sitting around drinking beer. We’ll never know…

 

Just like every birthday, and indeed every day, we miss you immensely.

Paul singing with theMark circa 2002

Paul

adminNovember 2, 2020
read more

Police Pursuit Symposium and WCPO Story

No comments

Hamilton County Police Association (Cincinnati Metro Area) Police Pursuit Symposium / WCPO interview

Jon Farris, Chief Advocate for Pursuit for Change, was a featured presenter at the August 19, 2020 Cincinnati Metro Area Police Pursuit Symposium.

Jon spoke about being a grieving father, a police pursuit victim, an advocate for reducing pursuits, a cheerleader for Pursuit Reduction Technology and a strong supporter of law enforcement. This was an excellent, three-hour symposium with tremendous involvement by over 60 command-level officers from throughout the county. Thanks to Lt. Steve Saunders from the CPD for allowing me to participate.

 

Additionally, Jon was interviewed by Craig Cheatham, Executive Producer/Chief Investigative Reporter of the WCPO 9 I-Team in Cincinnati. Thanks to Craig for this terrific update.

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/i-team/one-police-pursuit-policy-for-44-hamilton-county-departments-victims-dad-hopes-to-convince-agencies

adminPolice Pursuit Symposium and WCPO Story
read more

May 27, 2020. Thirteen Years

No comments

May 27, 2020. Thirteen Years

posted May 27, 2020

Thirteen years since Paul was stolen from us. 

 

Paul in his early years

Another unnecessary #PoliceChase occurred on May 27, 2007.

Paul Farris became another INNOCENT VICTIM.

We became yet another family GRIEVING – forever. 

When everything except your memories have been stolen, work hard to never forget.

We miss you, Paul.

 

PS: The posting cover photo is Paul and his mom at his 2006 Tuft’s University graduation. An awesome day.

PaulFarris.org

adminMay 27, 2020. Thirteen Years
read more

Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out About A High-Speed Chase That Ended In An Immigrant’s Death

No comments

Sadly, in our current all-too-divisive country and world, many people will read this article and say, “So what, it was just some illegal aliens.”

So to them we say, those were REAL PEOPLE.  They had/have families and friends who love them.

How would you feel if a drunk was driving your family or friends and made the stupid decision to flee? This happens regularly. Would it be OK if police chased and as a result YOUR FAMILY was killed or grievously injured?  No, it would not be OK.

YOU    WOULD    BE    OUTRAGED.

The Border Patrol chases regularly, and with impunity. This is wrong. Many, if not most of those pursuits, could be eliminated with a stricter and smarter pursuit policy, significantly more driver training for Border Patrol Officers and much greater usage of Pursuit Reduction Technology.


Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out About A High-Speed Chase That Ended In An Immigrant’s Death

by Debbie Nathan
February 28 2020, 7:00 a.m.

A FEW MINUTES BEFORE midnight on January 29, an Ecuadorian man was killed in a car crash near downtown El Paso, Texas, only yards from the U.S.-Mexico border. An Ecuadorian woman was gravely hurt and weeks later is just emerging from a coma. She’s missing part of her skull and half of her body appears to be paralyzed. Stuck in a hospital thousands of miles from her kin, she has had few visitors, but one has been a Border Patrol agent who feels grief-stricken by the accident and believes the Border Patrol played a major role in causing it. The agent recently had an emotional meeting with a family member of the severely injured woman and offered to testify if the family brings a lawsuit.

Police reports say the crash was caused by a drunk driver who picked up the Ecuadorians after they crossed into the U.S. illegally. The driver is said to have been a smuggler who was speeding to evade the Border Patrol, and crashed because he was driving too fast. But the agent says that the chase was improper. It occurred near downtown El Paso on West Paisano Drive, on a section of road so prone to crashes that local law enforcement officers call it a “deadly curve.”

READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

@DebbieNathan2 @JessicaHRodz @betsyreed2 @PursuitResponse @theintercept

adminBorder Patrol Agent Speaks Out About A High-Speed Chase That Ended In An Immigrant’s Death
read more

Wisconsin bill increases penalties for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and fleeing an officer

No comments

Wisconsin Vehicle Theft Legislation 2020

Wisconsin State Senator Chris Kapenga stated on February 19, 2020 in news release, “Car thefts (are) increasing in 8 of the 10 most populous (Wisconsin) counties.”  Here is the proposed WI Legislation that increases the penalties for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and fleeing an officer: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/sb769

The PFC take on this legislation?

We believe that legislation INCREASING PENALTIES for individuals (criminals) who fail to stop for a law enforcement officer (LEO) is good policy. The same can be said for vehicle theft and reckless driving penalties.

However, where this legislation falls woefully short is relating to the EVER INCREASING NUMBER OF DANGEROUS #POLICECHASES that are occurring in Wisconsin, often as a result of these types of crimes.

If our elected officials REALLY WANT TO PROTECT CITIZENS AND LEO’S from unnecessary injuries and death, then implement STRONGER PURSUIT POLICIES, limiting police chases to only the most violent felony actions, and NOT FOR STOLEN CARS OR PROPERTY THEFT.

 


A PolitiFact story confirming Senator Kapenga’s statement and providing the data and statistics. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/12/chris-kapanga/yes-auto-theft-most-large-wisconsin-counties-thoug/

By D.L. Davis
March 12, 2020

Yes, auto theft is up in most large Wisconsin counties, though down statewide

The issue of reckless driving has gained urgency as lawmakers, police and residents grapple with how to get a handle on increasing danger on neighborhood streets.

One approach: Crack down on auto theft.

In Milwaukee and elsewhere, the police pursuit of stolen vehicles has led to accidents, including a Feb. 1, 2020 incident in Wauwatosa, when a stolen car being pursued by Milwaukee police crashed into a tree.

State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, introduced a bill to address auto theft that, among other things, increases penalties for reckless driving, fleeing an officer and vehicle theft. The measure won Senate approval Feb. 19, 2020 on a 19-14 vote and was sent to the Assembly.

In a news release that day, Kapenga argued: “Reckless driving and car thefts have been a major issue not only in Milwaukee County but also across the state with car thefts increasing in 8 of the 10 most populous counties.”

Is Kapenga right?

The evidence
When asked for backup, Kapenga’s chief of staff Kyle Koenen pointed to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database.  READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

@SenatorKapenga @GannettDavis @PursuitResponse @StarChaseLLC @FaacIncorporated #ThereAreOtherOptions

adminWisconsin bill increases penalties for vehicle theft, reckless driving, and fleeing an officer
read more

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (and back in the news…)

No comments
Wishing you and your families an incredibly

HAPPY (and safe) THANKSGIVING!!

I give special thanks for each you who support our mission to save the lives of innocent bystanders and law enforcement officers.

Don’t eat too much turkey today – that way you can eat even MORE PIE!

Jon
PS: One more thing to give thanks for today – being the opening sentence in a national paper editorial. Thank you Louisville Courier Journal (@courierjournal) and also to reporters Mandy McLaren (@mandy_mclaren) and Matt Glowicki (@MattGlo) for their excellent work.

Editorial: Louisville must restrict police chases before more people are hurt, killed

The Courier Journal Editorial Board
Published 2:43 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2019

Jon Farris asked the right question.

How would you feel if you got a phone call saying your son or daughter (or husband or wife or mother or father) was killed because of a high-speed police chase — a chase that was unnecessary because no lives were in danger?

Devastated? Confused? Furious?

Farris’ son died during such a chase. And in the last three years, seven people in Louisville were killed in police pursuits.  READ THE REST OF THE STORY

adminHAPPY THANKSGIVING (and back in the news…)
read more

Thirteen Birthdays; Remembering Paul

No comments

Thirteen Birthdays; Remembering Paul

By Jonathan Farris, Chief Advocate, Pursuit For Change

 

Paul was killed on May 27, 2007. ​That was the worst day of my life.​

November 2, 2019 will be the thirteenth birthday not spent with him. No birthday wishes. No birthday beer. No birthday cake. No birthday celebration. ​No birthday phone call. ​Paul would have been 36. (see PaulFarris.org)

 

 

Since Paul’s death I have actively engaged to help prevent other innocent people and law enforcement officers suffering ​injury and death as a result of unnecessary pursuits.

I do this for you, but perhaps of equal importance, I do it for myself. This is a way to manage the unfathomable grief of losing ​my child. This is my PTSD therapy. This is my emotional release. It is ​the well from which I draw ​the ​strength to get up every morning.

There’s an excellent TEDx talk by Penny Kreitzer, a mom who lost her 21 year-old daughter. Her talk is entitled, “How to speak about the loss of a child.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV54J3JSdBg.  Perhaps she can better explain ​a grieving parent’s journey better than I.

In the Pursuit For Change and PursuitResponse world, a Presidential Executive Order was signed ​in October​ 2019​. The EO established a Commission on Law Enforcement and ​an Administration of Justice, which will study issues critical to ensuring that communities are safe​ ​and that those who enforce and administer the law are properly supported. Some areas of focus for the Commission, as summarized by IACP, include:

    • Challenges to law enforcement from mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, and other social factors that influence crime;
    • The recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of law enforcement officers;
    • The physical safety, health, and wellness of law enforcement officers;
    • Steps that can be taken to better integrate education, employment, social services, and public health into efforts to reduce crime;
    • The effectiveness of law enforcement training methods;
    • The Commission will deliver a report and recommendations to the Attorney General within one year.

Although not specifically defined at this point, we have support from Department of Justice to actively participate and work toward the inclusion of specific training and technologies including everything related to the management of and reduction of vehicular pursuits which always endanger officers and citizens. This is great news and I’ll have more to report as we head into 2020.

Law enforcement has always and will continue to ​get “beat up” by the press and others, including me. And some boneheaded actions deserve calling out. So when it comes to unnecessary police chases, I’ll continue to press hard.

But with that said, the vast majority of actions taken by law enforcement professionals are warranted and necessary to protect us all, including some violent-felony vehicular pursuits.  For their heroic actions, I truly support and thank LEOs for their public service. And I’m incredibly hopeful​ that, if we’re able to provide LEOs with better tools and more ​/ better ​training, ​we will see reductions in the number of pursuits across the US.​ This, in turn, will save citizen and law enforcement officer lives.​

 

Perhaps, after so many years, you’ve grown tired of reading and listening about my grief management and my pursuit reduction-related activities.

I won’t apologize. Nor shall I stop writing and speaking. I cannot, because it’s not yet time.

 

Happy Birthday Paul. I love you immensely and miss you even more.

Dad

 

From a book I recently read. 
The narrator describing a man after the violent death of his child:

Such a man is like a dreamer who wakes from a dream of grief to greater sorrow yet. All that he loves has now become a torment to him. A pin has been pulled from the access of the universe. Whatever one takes ones eye from threatens to flee away.
 
Such a man is lost to us. He moves, he speaks, but such a man is less than a shadow among all that he beholds. There is no picture of him possible. The smallest mark upon the page exaggerates his presence.
 
Who would seek the company such a man. That which speaks to us one to another and is beyond our words and beyond our lifting or the turning of a hand to say that this is the way that my heart is, or this. That thing was lost in him.
– Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
adminThirteen Birthdays; Remembering Paul
read more

More Milwaukee Police Pursuit-Related News August 2019

No comments

Jon Farris speaks with Anchor/Reporter Katie Crowther (https://buff.ly/2PAzOim) to discuss #PursuitAlert technology and #Milwaukee #PoliceChases. This is a short story that Katie and Jon hope to follow-up on in a future story. #PursuitResponse

 

Creators of new app hope police departments will get on board

Posted: 7:36 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 7:36 PM, Aug 28, 2019

A father’s plea for change, after losing his son, is now strengthened by new technology on the market.

A safety app was just created with the hope of saving more innocent people from becoming victims in high-speed police chases.

Paul Farris, 23, of Wisconsin died when the taxi he was in was hit during a high-speed chase in Massachusetts. A state trooper was pursuing a driver for a traffic violation. Farris was an innocent victim caught in the wrong place at the wrong time…

READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:  https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/creators-of-new-app-hope-police-departments-will-get-on-board

 

adminMore Milwaukee Police Pursuit-Related News August 2019
read more

Deputy’s Actions Prior To Deadly Missouri Crash

No comments

I was recently interviewed by Harrison Keegan. I’m always happy to speak with the media. And in this case, I was pleased that the deputy followed procedures and did what was necessary to protect citizens as best he was able.

However, I am heartbroken about the deaths of the Jamin Seabert, 41, Kimberly Seabert, 39, and Braeden Seabert, 19, caused by a drug and alcohol-abuse driver.

Jon

 

Original Story at:  https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/08/08/greene-county-deputys-actions-before-glenstone-fatal-crash-experts-approve/1953193001/

Pursuit experts say Greene County deputy acted appropriately before fatal crash

Dash cam video shows suspect in fatal accident at Kearney and Glenstone fleeing from Greene County deputy. Andrew Jansen, News-Leader

The outcome was the worst-case scenario.

Authorities say a reckless driver who fled from a Greene County sheriff’s deputy Saturday night caused a major crash at the intersection of Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street.

Three innocent people were killed, and the sheriff’s office has launched two separate investigations — one looking into the criminal culpability of the fleeing driver and another examining whether the deputies involved in the chase followed department procedure.

Sheriff Jim Arnott said he will wait for the Professional Standards Division to complete its investigation before saying anything definitive, but his first impression is that the pursuing deputy acted appropriately.

Two national police pursuit experts interviewed by the News-Leader said they agree with the sheriff.

 

The News-Leader asked the experts to review video clips of the pursuit from the TV show “Live PD” and the deputy’s dashboard camera, along with additional context provided by court documents and an interview with Sheriff Arnott.

While both experts said they had some concerns about the overall handling of the incident, they said they would not fault the pursuing deputy for his actions.

“The deputy wasn’t perfect, but he did probably everything that could have been expected of him,” said Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who has co-authored a book on police pursuits.

Kenney said the deputy briefly went into a lane of oncoming traffic as the suspect was fleeing the crash scene on foot, and that is a move Kenney would advise against. But overall, Kenney said the deputy’s response to the situation was reasonable.

While they didn’t fault the pursuing deputy, Kenney and another expert — Pursuit for Change founder Jonathan Farris — said they had concerns about the department’s use of spike strips during the pursuit.

The sheriff’s office says it deployed spike strips and took out two of the fleeing suspect’s tires about a mile-and-a-half before the fatal crash.

Kenney and Farris said they will be interested to see whether the investigation determines taking out the tires made the fleeing truck more difficult to control and might have contributed to the crash.

adminDeputy’s Actions Prior To Deadly Missouri Crash
read more

Advocating for Change. Another Dad’s Journey

No comments

Phil Warshauer’s daughter Stephanie was killed in 2018 when police chased a stolen vehicle. Stephanie was one of FIVE (5) who died in that unnecessary collision. That story of her death is linked here:

NC chase that killed 5 was based on false stolen car report, police say

Since that time, Phil and his family have advocated tirelessly to help reduce unnecessary chases. One of their success stories is below in a story By Nancy McLaughlin nancy.mclaughlin@greensboro.com in the Greensboro (SC) News & Record. That story is below.

I’ve had the honor to speak with Phil and I understand all that he’s going through and all that he is feeling. Stephanie’s death breaks my heart, because like my Paul, it was totally unnecessary. Only through advocacy efforts will we ever gain positive changes that save innocent lives.

Jon

 

New Guilford Sheriff’s Office policy places more restrictions on chases

Original story HERE: https://www.greensboro.com/news/local_news/new-guilford-sheriff-s-office-policy-places-more-restrictions-on/article_210ee869-399d-58be-aa5b-acc2de07a663.html

July 16, 2019  GREENSBORO — The new way police chases will be handled by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is drawing praise from the families of two women who were involved in a Battleground Avenue pursuit almost two years ago that ended their lives and three others.

Under the new policy from Sheriff Danny Rogers, deputies won’t be permitted to engage in pursuits involving crimes that are simple, nonviolent misdemeanors such as shoplifting. It was a report of a stolen vehicle which initiated the Battleground Avenue chase just before midnight on a Saturday in September 2017.

However, for serious crimes or if a person is considered violent — a carjacker, for instance — that would be justification for a deputy to initiate a pursuit.

“Sheriff Rogers was open to our suggestions,” said attorney Drew Brown, who represents the families of Stephanie Louise Warshauer and Alyssa Mackenzie Bolick. “The concept is you can get the criminal later. You don’t need to involve Battleground, Saturday night and 130 miles per hour.”

The policy took effect in May. The families of Warshauer and Bolick began pushing for the changes after the Sept. 30, 2017 accident that left five people dead, saying they wanted to see something good come from the tragedy.

Phil Warshauer, whose daughter Stephanie was driving the Optima that was hit, was interviewed as part of a new training video which deputies will see annually. He has said that he also wanted to see law enforcement officers be able to go home at night to their families.

“What keeps me going is Stephanie’s strength,” Warshauer said at the time of the crash. “She would be very upset that she lost a friend, and she would say, ‘Dad, how can that happen?’

“She would say, ‘Dad, don’t let that happen again.’”

Investigators say an Acura driven by Deshon Lee Manuel was trying to evade Deputy C. Lineback’s Dodge Charger as he sped through a light at the intersection of Battleground Avenue and New Garden Road at 130 mph when it struck the Optima carrying Warshauer and Bolick with enough force to push the car another 200 feet.

Manuel along with his two passengers — Theresa Monique Kingcade and Bruce Wayne Hunt — died at the scene.

A wrongful death suit by the estate of Kingcade was dismissed this spring without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled within a year.

The lawsuit blamed the officer for setting off a chain of events that ended in the deaths.

Most kinds of lawsuits against the state and individuals acting in a government capacity — such as law enforcement — are covered by sovereign immunity.

“It’s an awful set of circumstances,” said attorney Richard C. Metcalf, who represented Kingcade’s family.

Barnes defended his deputy at the time, saying the people inside the Acura drew the deputy’s attention because he could see them ducking at times and looking in his direction. And when the vehicle between them moved over as traffic began to flow, the Acura also moved over, keeping a car between them.

The deputy said at the time he steered his patrol car behind the Acura and ran the license plate number through a police database.

The vehicle then turned into a nearby apartment complex.

“He’s thinking there’s something not right here,” Barnes said of the deputy at the time.

As the Acura exited the apartment complex onto Battleground Avenue, it headed in the opposite direction. It was then that Lineback was alerted the car had been reported stolen.

The Acura accelerated. A chase ensued.

Lineback activated his siren and lights, which also turned on his dashboard camera.

As was policy at the time, the deputy radioed in to a supervisor. The supervisor didn’t have time to respond, Barnes said, because the chase had barely started when it ended 62 seconds later in the deadly crash.

adminAdvocating for Change. Another Dad’s Journey
read more

OP ED City Should Change Police Pursuit Policy . Urban Milwaukee

No comments

OP ED
City Should Change Police Pursuit Policy

940 pursuits in one year? Police should return to using effective GPS technology tracking program.

By May 27th, 2019 11:43 am

PLEASE SEE THE ORIGINAL POST at the Urban Milwaukee website:
https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2019/05/27/op-ed-city-should-change-police-pursuit-policy/

 

On Friday, May 17th, Urban Milwaukee published an article highlighting a stolen vehicle police pursuit on North 45th and West Center Street. The fleeing vehicle ultimately rear-ended a taxi cab and crashed. Several bystanders were injured, but luckily they survived the ordeal.

In 2018, after the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (MFPC) mandate that the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) weaken its nationally recognized pursuit policy, pursuits and these stories have become an everyday occurrence. In that one year, police pursuits rose from 369 to 940. Really; 940 police chases.

The article mentioned that, “the City-County Carjacking and Reckless Driving Task Force is set to meet for the first time on Friday, May 17th at City Hall. Among the topics likely to be discussed during that meeting and the Fire and Police Commission meeting were whether there are new police pursuit technologies that could help improve safety.”

Really? This is ironic because in 2018 MPD ended a pursuit reduction technology program. MPD and MFPC appear to be ignoring their previously successful use of GPS tracking technology. MPD ceased in this program 2018 and canceled already-approved additional GPS units.

It is simply a fact that continuing and expanding this program would have saved innocent lives and reduced bystander and officer injuries. These GPS unit purchases are public record and Urban Milwaukee covered this as well. Has anyone from MPD or the MFPC explained why? And now they are “looking for technologies that could help improve safety?”

Here is information from a recent article, “Are Police Pursuits Out of Control?“, written by Bruce Murphy in Urban Milwaukee and published on Thursday, April 25th:

Under (former Milwaukee PD Chief) Flynn the agency adopted new technology developed by a private company called StarChase, whereby police shoot at GPS “bullet” about the size of a soup can that can stick to a fleeing car.

A 2014 MPD report found it is effective in 55 percent of cases, meaning it sticks to a car and an arrest is later made. That compares to MPD’s horrible apprehension rate of 38 percent for 2018’s 940 chases.

“During the year 2016 MPD deployed this technology 156 times, successfully attaching it to fleeing vehicles 112 times,” a past FPC report noted.

The approach enables police to avoid high-speed chases that often are aggressive adrenaline-fueled contests between officers and a suspect that lose track of innocent bystanders in a dense urban setting.

Whereas the StarChase devices “give officers time to [let the adrenaline high pass], so by the time the pursuit is over, they can think more clearly and make better tactical decisions,” as MPD Inspector Terrence Gordon told Governing magazine in 2016. Yet since Chief Flynn retired, there has been no discussion of this technology.

So I ask, why are MFPC and MPD leadership ignoring their own past success with this technology? And of greater importance, why are these same officials allowing multiple dangerous pursuits every single day?

Of course technology alone is not a panacea. An intelligent and measured pursuit policy must balance enforcement with the risk to innocent citizens and officers. But that is certainly not occurring under current MPD policies, because tragically in 2018 one young officer was killed, twenty officers were injured, and numerous bystanders were killed and injured. And the carnage is continuing unabated into 2019.

Milwaukee has already exceeded its $5 million reserve for police settlements and now must borrow to settle lawsuits. This is after not properly considering or, more likely, ignoring available risk mitigation strategies (unless, of course, one counts the billboard campaign, which was a colossal waste of money).

No one pursuit-related solution will solve Milwaukee’s crime problems. Managing pursuits in the 21st century requires a mix of appropriate policies, extensive officer training and effective use of all available tools.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission must explain to taxpayers why they and MPD ceased supporting a pursuit reduction program that was working. And as MFPC and MPD reflect upon their mind-boggling 940 pursuits, reconsider the fact that only effective technology combined with smarter pursuit driving policies will help tip MPD’s abysmal pursuit statistics back in the direction of saving lives and reducing injuries and property damage.

It’s clear that Milwaukee’s current pursuit policies and actions are costing too many lives and emptying city coffers.

Jonathan Farris is Chief Advocate for Pursuit For Change. Jon’s son Paul was an innocent bystander killed in a horrific police pursuit crash outside of Boston in May 2007.

adminOP ED City Should Change Police Pursuit Policy . Urban Milwaukee
read more