WPD explains pursuit policy after recent deadly crashes, chases

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -In less than a month Wichita has had two deadly police chases, prompting a discussion about WPD’s policies when it comes to pursuits.

Members of the WPD’s citizen review board talked about those policies during a meeting Thursday.

“I don’t want to see anymore Wichitans get hurt or killed because of high speed pursuits that are completely unnecessary,” said Faith Martin.

Martin says she knows people who have been hurt in police chases. She came to the citizens review board meeting Thursday to bring up a discussion about the WPD policy, in hopes of putting a stop to pursuits over non-violent crimes.

WPD’s Lt. Matt Lang says the department has a restrictive policy compared to other departments and he says most pursuits last less than five minutes and are normally under a mile or two.

“The supervisor, I can speak clearly for myself , I’ll ask what are the speeds and what are the charges and that’s the determining factor in the pursuits,” said Lt. Lang.

He says officers do go through rigorous training when it comes to pursuits.

“I would say 90 percent of the pursuits we initiate get shut down by the officer or the supervisor, but I do agree pursuits are dangerous,” said WPD Captain Wendell Nicholson.

WPD says while the policy has been pretty consistent for the last four to five years they do review the policy every six months.

“Bad guys are unpredictable and it’s unfortunate it ends in tragic situations,” said Lt. Lang.

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