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Wis. town reinstates PD’s pursuit policy after temporary restrictions

The city of Monona reinstated the police department’s policy that allows officers to pursue in cases where suspects “pose a danger to public safety”

Monona tightens protocol on police pursuits while officials weigh policy changes

At about 9 p.m. Monday, officers tried to pull over a vehicle near the corner of Nichols Road and Monona Drive in Monona. The vehicle fled, and police pursued. At some point, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office deployed a tire-deflation device to stop the vehicle, and it crashed at the corner of Femrite Drive and Buckeye Road in the town of Cottage Grove, according to the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, which is investigating the incident. Three occupants in the vehicle died.

City of Monona Police Department via Facebook

By Joanna Putman

MONONA, Wisc. — The Monona City Council has voted in favor of removing restrictions on the police department’s pursuit policy, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The temporary policy change came after three people were killed while fleeing a cruiser in a pursuit on Jan. 1, according to the report. Days after the crash, the city council voted to make a temporary modification to the Monona Police Department’s pursuit policy, deciding to pursue only those vehicles that were suspected to be involved in serious violent felonies.

The decision to remove those restrictions came after the city and department received feedback from residents in favor of returning to the original pursuit policy.

Under the original policy, police are permitted to pursue in cases where suspects “pose a danger to public safety,” according to the report.

“Without consequences, where’s the deterrent?” asked Alderman Patrick DePula. “Are we to just give up and not assign any sort of culpability to those that willfully engage in reckless and lawless behavior?”

Police Chief Brian Chaney said during the council meeting that not attempting to apprehend a suspect could potentially pose greater public danger than if the police were to initiate a traffic stop, especially in cases where the driver seems heavily under the influence of alcohol.

“Reckless driving, drunk driving, drugged driving, dangerous driving kills every day,” Chaney said. “In this country, it has taken so many lives.”