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Local and State Police Have a Set of Guidelines When It Comes to Chases

LUDLOW, Mass. (WGGB) — How do police know when to take part in a pursuit?  And what is the difference between how state and local police carry them out?

We talked with both the Ludlow Police Department and State Police about their procedures.

Ludlow Police Sgt. Louis Tulik has been involved in high speed chases and says there are a lot of factors that an officer has to consider before they even start chasing someone.

“The underlying offense is extremely important. If it’s someone with a suspended license, am I gonna put the public at risk to stop that person? If you know who the person is, that’s another thing.  If you don’t know who that person is and they just committed a serious assault on someone, that’s different. The offense kind of dictates what you do and how far you take that,” explains Tulik.

In fact, State Police follow a similar procedure.

Their policy on vehicle pursuits has no speed limits set because they say every situation is different.  Troopers have to make the decision based on if the case will pose a danger to the public.

Ludlow Police Chief James McGowan says that chases here in Ludlow are few and far between and might get called off, but still, those calls need to be responded to.

“For every one high speed pursuit, I probably get 200 to 250 alarm calls that officers have to respond to.  So if you’re assigned to respond to a house alarm or business alarm, you’re relegated by departmental policy that you can’t go any faster on a rural road than 50 mph.”

As an alternative to pursuit there are other deterrents to stop/slow suspects.

Like using stinger spikes which deflate tires and a handheld device that does the same.

State Police prohibit pursuit with motorcycles unless the suspect poses an imminent threat of death to police or to others.


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  • trapntrace

    they state they have policies, but videos don’t lie. Also I witnessed first hand state and local officers chasing motorcyclist through Springfield and on the highway…even as far as “bumping” them with their cruisers…

    I don’t condone bikers fleeing from police, and if they do, they are guilty of something, but those bikers are more a danger to themselves and the cruisers a danger to the public when these kind of chases happen.

    • bagpip

      I read your comment after mine, and I am glad to see I’m not the only one they think they are BS’ing. The 45 minute chase I observed, all in the city, was for an unregistered vehicle. Would it have been worth it had he killed a few people during that chase? Unless they have a SERIOUS felony, police chases should not happen in the city. Another one in Wsfld, Southampton, and part of Holyoke netted them an unlicensed motorcyclist.

  • bagpip

    Total lies. I watched a high speed chase as it went by my home in Westfield several times. The police reported they had broken off pursuit, but in fact were 6″ off the guys bumper in the middle of the city, while lieing about it over the airwaves they know are monitored.