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Mayor: Review pursuit policy

Terry Fleming

Terry Fleming

— Mayor Willie Adams has asked city staff to provide Albany City Commissioners with the Albany Police Department’s pursuit policy.

Terry L. Fleming, an APD officer, died Friday while chasing armed robbery suspects when her cruiser collided with another police unit, slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

Police were responding to an armed robbery of a downtown finance company, and the pursuit ensued when the suspects attempted to flee. They were captured Friday and face felony murder charges, among others.

All city police cars are equipped with devices that measure time, speed and location. The Albany Herald requested the data from those devices Tuesday for the time period when the robbery occurred through Georgia’s Open Records Act and was denied. City officials are citing an exemption to the Open Record’s Law for information involved in ongoing criminal investigations as the basis for the denial of the records.

When asked about his comments Tuesday, Adams said that he had been assured by police officials that the chase fell within the standard operating procedures of the department, but he said he still felt that he needed to see the policy and that others on the commission may want to discuss it.

“I’ve been assured that there is one in place, but I want to make sure it’s being adhered to, if there is a policy in place,” Adams said. “I’ve heard a lot of comments about the reasonability of having high-speed chases through neighborhoods. Certainly we don’t want to do anything that’s going to put a frost over the loss of one of our officers, but we don’t want to have any future losses.”

Ironically, the Albany Police Department was set to host two different training sessions on pursuit policy Nov. 1 and 2, according to pursuitpolicy.org. According to Phyllis Banks, spokesperson for the Albany Police Department, those training sessions were rescheduled to Dec. 1 and 2 after Friday’s incident. That training is available for officers who need the hours to keep up their certification.

Police departments around the country have varying policies on when to pursue and when not to pursue suspects. Generally, officers weigh the brutality or violence of the crime committed, the impact on the public safety by breaking off the chase and the likelihood of a member of the public being injured in the chase.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwnRV8nMldE

Comments

LOFKNL 2 years, 11 months ago

You think that these "cops" know how to drive? Funny.

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guardian 2 years, 11 months ago

That Police Officer gave her life protecting people like you...show some respect!

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LOFKNL 2 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, okay. I protect myself with my shotgun and my .40 caliber. You can rely on APD all you want.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 11 months ago

APD does a good job. Every time I call they respond rather quickly. People need to quit bashing them and start trying to help them, but that would require effort and some people would just rather sit back and complain rather than help. I guess you are one of those people.

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mcwatt 2 years, 11 months ago

Meanwhile, the rest of us that are actually in touch with reality will continue to support the police instead of thinking a shotgun is all that is needed to keep the city from anarchy. I hope life is grand in pretend-ville.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Everyone had best understand that an announced no chase policy will result in far more folks running to avoid even minor tickets. It is just the nature of the beast

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queenzee1 2 years, 11 months ago

My heart goes out to the family of the young lady who lost her life during this pursuit. I do feel like the pursuit shouldve ended long before it did. Once realized that the chase would/could cause possible danger to innocent bystanders as well as the law enforcement person who were involved, the chase should've ceased. There were many people standing around during the pursuit...why endanger the entire community to catch two criminals? The entire incident was, and still is, devastating. There is no disrespect or discredit to any of the officers but surely there should be a stopping point!

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 11 months ago

"...why endanger the entire community to catch two criminals?" First of all, the ENTIRE community wasn't in danger, unless we allow scum like those two men to do what they want. I respect what the APD is up against every day and Ms. Fleming was doing her job, trying to make the community safer for all of us. Those two thugs are now behind bars and need to be charged with her murder. My thoughts are with the officer's family...she was doing what she was hired to do.

It was a horrible accident. We can all play Monday morning quarterback all you want, but she did what she thought was the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Until citizens stand up and refuse this kind of behavior in their community, then things like this will continue to happen.

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 11 months ago

StrongUntill you are a victim of a crime indangering your life,it s kinda hard to make your mind up what way this should have went.It just funny to me that we never see our Mayor untill he thinks it will be in his best intrest.A women lost her life.And for him to come up against policies of the police when he dont follow the policies that he should,thats calling the kettle black,not racial,so dont go there.

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mrnobody 2 years, 11 months ago

Genius. Pure genius. Restrict the pursuit policy so criminals know they will be able to get away because the cops will lose their jobs if they chase them.

I'm not unlike anyone else. 1,375 police cars speeding through my neighborhood at 212 mph isn't my idea of an ideal life. But police chasing thugs is necessary.

However, if you are on the street, whether walking or driving, YOU have a responsibility to be aware of your surroundings at all times. "What about the children?" you ask? PARENTS have a responsibility to know where their kids are and what they are doing, and to teach them common sense safety.

But I forget, it's always someone else's fault. So, go ahead. Put more restrictions on police. Hey, while we're at it, let's go ahead and tell them they can only shoot one round per incident, since if they fire repeated shots they may accidentally shoot in my general direction if some thugs are trying to kill them.

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Sally_O 2 years, 11 months ago

Just another tool to help out the bad guys.

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Outtahere 2 years, 11 months ago

Just because some of us believe the pursuit policy needs some adjustment DOES NOT mean we do not respect Mrs. Fleming or her family! We are all sad over her loss and would like very much for this not to happen again! To pursue a criminal AT ALL COSTS is counterproductive in protecting the public. Should the police chase criminals - of course!! But not to the extent that innocent by-standers are harmed!!! Everyone keeps saying that we need to catch them so they don't harm anyone else, but what about the casualties that sometimes come from a high speed chase? I just think there is a middle ground here! Just because a criminal gets away at that moment in time does not mean that it's over! There have been tons of them caught after the fact and have been brought to justice. I really hope Mrs. Flemming's family is able to cope through this difficult time and people give them the support and privacy that they need!

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VSU 2 years, 11 months ago

Using this logic, I could go speeding in the Doublegate area at 110 mph and not worry about getting caught because I know the police can't chase me. Someone said these thugs was not endangering the whole community, but if they are still running around free, where does it end? 10 people throughout the city could get robbed or shot in that span of time they are running loose. It would be just as dangerous to ban the pursuit as it would be to allow it. We have too much crime going on in this city to ignore it. The officers do need to be better trained at driving in these circumstances and know when to stop the pursuit during times when it is potentially more dangerous. Maybe they need to put snipers in each police car and shoot their tires out.

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Outtahere 2 years, 11 months ago

VSU - Do you know how to read?? It seems like you don't from your comment!! I mean you can type so I don't understand the confusion?? I said that we SHOULD chase criminals but to be always aware of innocent bystanders!! You actually used the word "ignore"!!! Who said anything about ignore??? Then you go on to say the officers should be better trained to know when to stop the pursuit when it gets to dangerous - which is exactly what I was saying!!! Hello!!!! MIDDLE GROUND!!!

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justme 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey LOFKNL, what are you going to do when your drunk on Bud and passed out or you are at K Mart and the thugs come and steal your 40 cal and shotgun. The 40 and the shotgun are your toys, however when a thug gang member gets hold of them he ain't looking to shoot deer and beer cans, he'll put that 40 to your head as you defecate your overalls, and hand over your meager dollars.

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