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When do police end a pursuit? Policy shows West Chester police are discouraged from pursuits for misdemeanors

4 injured in overnight crash in West Chester
Tylersville Rd Crash 3152022.png
Posted at 9:48 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 00:14:04-04

WEST CHESTER, Ohio — An overnight car crash that sent four people to the hospital in West Chester happened after police ended a pursuit, according to West Chester's director of public information.

Barb Wilson, director of public information and engagement for West Chester Township, said West Chester police attempted to pull over a Ford Explorer around 2:10 a.m. for a traffic stop in the area of Tylersville Road and Cincinnati-Dayton Road. Police said the vehicle did not have visible license plates.

Wilson said the driver refused to stop and headed westbound on Tylersville Road leading officers on a pursuit. West Chester police said the chase reached an estimated speed of 80 mph.

Officers pursued the vehicle until reaching the area of Farmgate Drive, Wilson said. Wilson said officers then turned off their lights, sirens and ended the pursuit, following from a distance without lights or sirens.

Nearly 1.5 miles from where police ended the pursuit, Wilson said the Explorer hit a utility pole and landed on its side on Tylersville Road, just west of State Route 747.

Tylersville Road was closed for several hours following the crash, but it has since reopened.

Two adults and two teenagers were taken to the West Chest Hospital after the crash. Wilson said none of them are believed to have life-threatening injuries.

West Chester police are working on identifying those in the vehicle, but police said they don't believe any of the people in the vehicle are from the area.

The department's 13-page pursuit policy details the facts officers must consider when starting or terminating a pursuit. It says officers must consider the seriousness of the suspected crime, whether the suspect represents a threat, the time of day, area, weather, amount of traffic and speed of the pursuit before following a suspect.

The policy also states extended pursuits for misdemeanors not involving abuse or risk of serious harm are discouraged.

Similar cases have taken place throughout the Tri-State. In Colerain, a driver crashed after running several lights March 4. Police did not initiate a pursuit and spokesperson Jim Love said they will only engage in a pursuit if someone's life is in danger.

Cincinnati police are adjusting their policy in the wake of several pursuit crashes. City leaders are expected Wednesday to detail changes, saying pursuits will only take place if a person fleeing is suspected of committing a violent felony offense.

CPD will also have annual reviews done by the planning and inspection section to ensure officers are following all procedures.

WCPO requested body and dash camera footage from the incident in West Chester. Wilson said West Chester police do not have dash cams on their vehicles.

Cincinnati Police Department revises rules for vehicle pursuits (