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  1. #21
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    PDawg, if she had no units available I would have preferred her to tell me the truth, and/or just passed me to Plano (which in 20/20 hindsight would have probably been the safest bet, since we were like 3 minutes from Plano and headed that direction). Plano probably would have had units lining the freeway waiting for him lol

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  2. #22
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Well, PDawg and Operator make good points.

    I think the LEO's make good points

    And TXCharlie makes good point

    Charlie....next time, change your wording when asking the dispatcher questions.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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  3. #23
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Good point

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  4. #24
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Good point
    Exactly
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  5. #25
    Iron Man's Avatar
    Iron Man is offline Don't Tase me bro!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    However, if things are busy -- "Thanks for the information; we'll notify the guys on the streets" comes across a lot better than an order to a caller to stop following someone. How can you enforce that order? What if they're "just going home" and it happens to be the same way? Do they have to stop, pull over, shut off their lights and wait 5 minutes before starting to drive again?
    seeing how dispatchers are civilians, kind of makes everything a moot point.
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  6. #26
    JLK's Avatar
    JLK
    JLK is offline Protecting Those That Can't Protect Themselves
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    Anyone care to explain how TXCharlie would have been liable..?

    TxCharlie was drunk. The vehicle he was following/pursuing was a figment of his image. He was really swerving and everything else was still.


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  7. #27
    lilbeck is offline Rookie
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    coming from dispatch for 5 yrs with 2 different agencies, we've never told callers not to follow the intoxicated/ reckless drivers. i would rather you follow them in a safe manner so we can keep a visual on where they are going and get units to find them and get traffic on them. its up to the complainant if they want to keep following the veh.
    we dont want a disturbance to come out of it, or try to stop the veh on their own, thats what we're here for.
    we do get people sometimes who att to stop the vehs and end up in a verbal argument and then the whole reckless driver call turns into a bigger call than intended.
    my biggest concern when i get these calls is what kind of vehicle,lp, direction of travel, and if the veh has been involved in any hit and runs.

    thats my 2 cents!

    "yes you have a right to your opinion, and i have a right to think you're stupid."

  8. #28
    10-42Adam's Avatar
    10-42Adam is offline Major
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    I would have kept on following him, but from a distance. Atleast that way if the dumbass does crash into somebody I can be there to help the other people involved, screw the drunk guy. I've had no tolerance for drunk drivers ever since a cousin of mine was hit head on and killed by a drunk. I never really thought much about it until it hit home...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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  9. #29
    AgentParsons's Avatar
    AgentParsons is offline I'm no damn "Bounty Hunter"; I'm a Professional
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    Ok here is where the liability comes into play. The drunk; whom is already paranoid from being DWI, notices a car following him and taking the same turns he does.

    He thinks its a cop and does something really stupid to try and get away killing some poor single mother of 3 on her way home from working a 12 hours shift at the local greasy spoon so her infant kid can have fresh diapers and something to eat.

    The driver states he thought was was being chased by the police because he was drunk and he was concerned about going to jail so he shut off his lights and took a sharp corner to try and duck the suspected cop and didn't see the car coming at him because he was watching his mirrors rather then the road.

    Now the operator of the following vehicle can be found liable for that accident much like the bar tender that knowingly over serves a highly intoxicated patron knowing he will get into his car and attempt to drive home.

    There is always liability in everything we do; its just knowing how to manage it that is harder to over come then the liability itself.

    I had an incident last spring where I was driving through one of our backwater towns and had a red Ford F-550 pull out of a side street and strike the guard rail on the opposite side of the street a few yards a head of me and then attempt to pull back into the proper lane of travel and continue on his merry way. Right down both sides of the road alternately.

    I picked up my cell and called the local PD and gave them the information and location of the MVA and direction of travel. The dispatcher; a UPO, advised me all his units (the 2 of them they have on at night) where tied up doing traffic at a house fire and he would pass the information on to State Police.

    With that I slowed down to give the driver lots of room and he eventually disappeared out of sight around a curve. About 3 miles later I found the truck wrapped around a tree about 25 feet off the road right across from the PD. The driver was out cold and laying on the dash board.

    I called 911 once again to request a rescue for the driver and got chewed out for following the guy and was told I may have caused the crash.

    I had lost sight of him about 10 minuets prior having stopped at the gas station to get some soda before continuing on my way and finding him; and attendant verified this for the Officer.

    If I hadn't stopped at the gas station I may have been held liable for his accident because he said he thought a cop was following him and he didn't see the tree in the middle of the highway. In that area most of the patrol vehicles are mid to full size SUVs and I drive a black S10 Blazer.

    When I got there I didn't see another car on the road and the nearest cruiser was parked about 100 yards away at the PD.
    Last edited by AgentParsons; 02-20-07 at 05:37 PM. Reason: damn typo's
    Everybody is entitled to MY opinion!


  10. #30
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    And the paranoid drunk who assumes that late-model sedan behind him is a cop, with no reason to think so other than the fact they're going the same way is also going to be able to blame the guy in the sedan by your reasoning. I think that liability argument's a stretch. What proactive steps did you take to suggest to the person that you might be a police officer following him? You called the cops. How does he know? You maintained a reasonable distance? That's just driving! What did you, Charlie, or our hypothetical guy do to make anyone think that you're a cop and you're following them?

    Hell... that argument would make it possible to blame someone else for anything that happens on the road! Any cheating spouse that has a wreck can blame a hypothetical PI behind him or her...

    I could maybe see it in a very rural area... but I just don't think it'd be an argument that would hold water for long. I know if I was investigating a crash, and the driver told me "I thought a cop might be following me so I was watching behind me" I wouldn't be very sympathetic... The driver is responsible for the safe operation of the car; you can't be responsible for the conclusions some other person that you've had no direct contact with makes!

    Now, if the following driver were to be exceeding the speed limit or otherwise doing something other than simply driving within the law behind the possible drunk -- then I could kind of see the argument. But, even then, I'd say that it's more support that they're guilty of multiple traffic infractions than that they're liable for the actions of the drunk!

  11. #31
    AgentParsons's Avatar
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    Jks9199;

    I agree and in a common place this would be true; but, there are so many chestier lawyers out there that will take any case to make a dime or name they don't care.

    How many times have you read in the papers or seen on the news that granny Johnson was sued for $250,000.oo by a burglar who injured himself while entering, or or leaving the house and the juries sided with him. And the burglar won!

    In criminal court the accused has more rights then the victims and in a civil court its more so; the burden is on the defendant to prove himself and the accuser only needs to say something happened. It's a he said she said deal.

    Just look at O.J. Found not guilty of criminal charges but a civil court found him guilty of wrongful death and awarded a hefty sum to his late wifes and boyfriends families in their murders.

    I have had the privilege of setting on a federal court jury and we found the guy innocent by a narrow vote I'm sorry to say. It was a Lt. in the Latin Kings up on weapons charges.

    I know people who have set on a jury in a civil case and found in favor the the partitioner over the respondent and later said if it was a criminal case it would have gone the other way.

    I don't know; welcome to America I guess!
    Everybody is entitled to MY opinion!


  12. #32
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I suppose, then, she'd probably say "no" if I asked her permission to take him out with a PIT maneuver? I saw it on COPS once and it looked easy

    With that I'll just say Reno911 starts Friday!!!

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  13. #33
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    lol
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  14. #34
    PersiusOne is offline Patrol Monkey
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    Not liable here either - it's pretty routine that I'm dispatched to a drunk driver with the caller following. Dispatch advises me if the caller is still following or not, and if so, their vehicle description also. Often I'll get behind the subject vehicle, and dispatch will have the caller tell them if I'm behind the vehicle they are calling-in, and relay that to me.
    The opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency, Police Chief, or any other member or employee of my department or municipality.

  15. #35
    J-WS6 is offline What Willis was talking about
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    Its not a question of Liability.

    Its risk vs. reward.

    The risk of somebody following a drunk outweights any (Im not sure if there is any) benifit that could come from it. Lets also not forget you have no way of knowing he is drunk.

    Risk: Guy being followed alters his driving pattern as he is being followed, and crashes.

    Risk: Guy is spooked by the car following him and pulls over, produces a gun and shoots you in the face. Im sure somebody will say "But i'll pull out my CCW and shoot him first".

    Was getting into a shootout and possibly getting hurt or killed worth it? Remember, were talking about a civilian here. If you want to play cop then go be a cop.

    Benifit: You are able to give updated direction of travel of the vehicle. This does not mean the cops are gonna get there any quicker, if at all.

    What if the guy pulls into a gas station or walmart? Are you gonna go into survelance mode across the street? Are you going to block him in and wait for the real Police? Are you gonna follow him into Walmart?? You laugh but it happens. And when it does, we still dont respond.

  16. #36
    AgentParsons's Avatar
    AgentParsons is offline I'm no damn "Bounty Hunter"; I'm a Professional
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    But i'll pull out my CCW and shoot him first
    Everybody is entitled to MY opinion!


  17. #37
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-WS6 View Post
    Risk: Guy is spooked by the car following him and pulls over, produces a gun and shoots you in the face. Im sure somebody will say "But i'll pull out my CCW and shoot him first".
    ...
    What if the guy pulls into a gas station or walmart? Are you gonna go into survelance mode across the street? Are you going to block him in and wait for the real Police? Are you gonna follow him into Walmart?? You laugh but it happens. And when it does, we still dont respond.
    No, was keeping my distance... But next time yes, I'll keep his car in sight, even if he pulls into a wal-mart. I'm not gonna have it on my conscience that I could have done something, and didn't - again.

    Believe me, if he/she wasn't either drunk or had severe medical problems, then it must have been a 5-year-old kid driving - He couldn't hold a lane.

    It's times like that though that I do wish I was already a cop... I'm sure when you light 'em up, there's also a danger that you'll spook them too. I don't know how you'd resolve that, but I hope I can get thru the process of Field Training and find out.

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  18. #38
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  19. #39
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I prefer to shoot the tires out with my AR, but there was no one in the car to grab the wheel

    I'm joking!

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  20. #40
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    Charlie, that's why you need to mount guns under the bumper of your surplus CVPI with the orange light bar.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
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