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Law enforcement agencies must often use best judgement to stop criminals

Published 5:58am Saturday, June 16, 2012

Law enforcement agencies exist to protect and serve the individual citizens that live around the United States. Each local branch covers a local area, and Franklin County is no exception.

The law enforcement officials that cover Franklin County must tackle the same obstacles that face officers across the country on any given day.

It just so happens that some incidents are rarer than others, so when certain problems come up and must be dealt with, it seems a bit out of the ordinary.

A case in point is the police chase that occurred one week ago today.

Officers in Russellville received a call at 8:41 pm. Saturday night that a reckless driver was southbound on U.S 43.

The car had apparently sideswiped another vehicle and had kept on going, on top of speeding. Police responded to the call and found the driver speeding through an intersection.

The driver then passed traffic waiting at a red light and made a U-turn in an attempt to evade police. He continued to change directions, fly through intersections and weave in and out of traffic while running from law enforcement.

This kind of event is no stranger to anyone around the country that watched enough television.

TV shows like “World’s Deadliest Car Chases” and other regularly show the consequences of people trying to evade or run from police. High-speed chases might even cause news outlets to break into regularly scheduled programming to cover the event.

Once, three-straight programs on Fox News covered a live chase in some random state from start to finish. The concept of covering a chase pre-empted everything that was on the agenda for those shows that day.

This either points to a slow news day or the fact that people have a fascination with car chases. Anything out of the ordinary may seem interesting, and high-speed pursuits are no exception.

What usually gets lost in translation, however, is how much danger is involved for not only the driver, but to those around him or her and the police that give chase.

Law enforcement’s main goal in stopping a high-speed chase is to prevent the driver or innocent bystanders from getting hurt.

The driver in question here in Russellville was putting others in danger during the chase. He almost struck a man leaving Russellville Hospital, never mind the other drivers out that night. He had reportedly hit one car before the chase even began.

That is how dangerous these chases are, yet law enforcement must undertake them to protect those who are innocent of the crimes of the erratic driver.

The suspect drove into two police cars before the chase was over, and he sped through pedestrian-populated areas at least twice.

Thanks to the efforts of our local law enforcement, however, no one was injured during the event. Even though a high-speed chase is out of the ordinary for our county, the local police handled the situation well.

Hats off to those officers involved that brought this man to justice while protecting innocent bystanders.

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