Atlanta PD Will No Longer Chase Criminals If They Flee From Cops

Sandy Malone

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced Friday that she had instituted a new no-chase policy effective immediately.

Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced on Friday that, effective immediately, the Atlanta Police Department has a “no-chase policy.”

Chief Shields faced off with reporters after an internal email she sent out to the entire police department on Friday morning was leaked to the media.

In the email, the chief pointed to the failure of the judicial system as a key reason for changing the department’s chase policy, WGCL reported.

She told reporters the same thing.

“I don’t want to see us cost someone their life in pursuit of an auto theft person or a burglar when the court’s not even going to hold them accountable,” Chief Shields said. “I mean how can we justify that? And I think we are better than that.”

“It goes back to the repeat offender issue,” the chief continued. “Okay, we get the person in custody and we look at how many times have we arrested them?”

“If nothing is happening to the individuals when we’re locking them up, and yet we’re absorbing this level of risk and liability – I mean that just is not a good business model. I’d rather we put better emphasis on our investigative techniques,” she told reporters.

Critics have called the policy change a knee-jerk reaction to criticism of the police department’s handling of incidents where civilians were seriously hurt or killed by suspects driving at high speeds to evade police, WGCL reported.

The chief explained that Atlanta PD having a restrictive chase policy was nothing new.

“Just to summarize, we’ve had a restrictive pursuit policy for many years… but we’ve had a few incidences when the officers are rightfully pursuing – they’re in line with state law, they’re in line with policy – but the pursuit itself is just not essential. Not given the risk reward that goes with engaging in a pursuit. And I just feel as though we need to step back and make the policy even more restrictive,” Chief Shields said.

“I would rather err on the side of safety even if it does mean temporarily not being as active in a space as I feel we maybe need to be,” she said.

“It’s effective immediately, today, that there is a no-chase policy,” the chief confirmed to reporters.

Chief Shields said that a year ago, the department had selected some highly-trained officers to be trained by the Georgia State Police on PIT maneuvers and high-speed chases.

“We made a concerted effort to invest their time into training in this specific area and they’ve done a nice job,” she explained, but went on to say the problem is when assisting units who join the chase aren’t as well trained.

“The policy simply has to be very restrictive,” the chief said.

In her memo to the police force regarding the no-chase policy, Chief Shields said she knew her decision wasn’t going to be popular with the rank-and-file.

“Please know that I realize this will not be a popular decision; and more disconcerting to me personally, is that this decision may drive crime up,” the chief wrote. “I get it.”

She tried to frame her decision as being more about officers’ safety given the lightweight judicial atmosphere.

“At his point and time, the department is assuming an enormous risk to the safety of officers and the public for each pursuit, knowing that the judicial system is largely unresponsive to the actions of the defendants,” Chief Shields wrote.

Atlanta resident Chris Rich told WSB that he was still trying to make sense of the chief’s new policy.

“This is pretty drastic,” Rich said. “If I’m a criminal, it’s open season. It’s going to impact all the law-abiding citizens. It’s worrisome.”

Comments (123)
flybynight
flybynight

Chief Shields holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Webster University and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University. She is an active member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). She was appointed as a board member to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council by Gov. Nathan Deal in August 2017.

No. 1-50
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

It's just one more example of "criminal justice reform."

You have got to read the last paragraph which was cropped. It is here:

JBoH
JBoH

Zero chase policy. So under no circumstances are officers to chase anyone in a vehicle...no matter the crime?

Debkk9
Debkk9

I don't agree with her directive at all...but I do understand why she's doing it. Around here we have excellent police in all our little towns...they keep catching the bad guys for domestic abuse, child molestation, drugs (heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, etc..), DUI, etc, etc..they arrest them, they go to court...and the judge gives them a slap on the wrist. Even if they plead guilty to whatever it is...they get probation. One guy was a known heroin dealer, got arrested with a shitload of it...4th or 5th arrest...still got probation. I guess the chief figures it's not worth someone losing their life chasing them. However...the criminals will be bolder if they know that no one will chase them down. :(

Hawklegs
Hawklegs

Ok, so a man just raped a small child and pd has him him pulled over. But he doesn't want to hang around and takes off. So adios? He's gone because you have a no chase policy? It's just oh well, see ya Mr. we can't chase you? I don't get it

beyondpissedoff
beyondpissedoff

So all Atlanta LEO's should just stick with parking tickets and maybe jay-walking. Anything else isn't worth your time. SMFH!

Macgizzard
Macgizzard

This is just getting past ridiculousness. Why not just give all the criminals a “safe” word like nana nana booboo smh! This sounds like more leftist policies to invoke anarchy.

NoBackupNearby
NoBackupNearby

Waiting to hear what the Georgia State Attorney, Fulton County District Attorney, chief judge for the Fulton County Magistrate Court, and chief judge for the Fulton County Superior Court have to say now that they've been called out.

bronx163
bronx163

Just like the paper tiger nypd, they have surrender to race bater street activists.

Let it all implode apd.

Let dispatch have 100 jobs backed up in the system. Just do reactive policing. Take the report move on to next job. Why set yourself up for some lap dog politician chief use you as Step to get praise. Give them everything they dreamed of, hands off policing let the system implode. Let chaos rein.

High crime low crime you still get payed.

They are at war with society sheepdogs.

Let the flock be attack since they are attacking the defenders.

Its a national war on cops. Wash state so bad they cant find anyone to take the job.

Elsewhere is the same.

Do nothing as they wish.

whatalways3parts1
whatalways3parts1

Zero Chase Policy? Really ?!!

Fine, bring out the "HELICOPTERS!!!"

bryantrent
bryantrent

BS

RunCop
RunCop

The coppers can wave bye bye as the scum bags drive away.

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

That's it, all the schooling and education and she's dumb as a rock! Did she ever work the road or just brought in for Administration? Why would you tell the bad guys this???? Another trait of the left-winged idiots these days, tell people what you're going to do before you do it so they can plan ahead??? Duh!!!!

USCPSGT
USCPSGT

Washington DC and several other cities already have a similar "No chase" policy that has been in effect since the early 1990s. Officers may only pursue suspects for "violent felonies" that have just occurred, or are in progress. Additionally, a supervisor must monitor and approve the chase. I was a patrol officer when the new no chase policy was instituted. Officers were quite upset, and felt "handcuffed" . Washington DC is home to many police agencies, local and federal. One unnamed federal agency had several high profile chase tragedies occur, within a short period of time. Including one on Easter Sunday morning, killing members of a local family in their way home from church. During my time on patrol, after the new "no chase" policy was enacted, I personally had several incidents where suspects just took off and I wasn't permitted to chase them. My last one was a traffic stop for a minor violation, but I had observed his nervous behavior. I was on a motor, and just as my backup and I approached the vehicle, the suspect took off for unknown reasons. Because it was still just traffic, we couldn't chase. It was only a short time later, when we found out that the driver was wanted as "an armed escapee" from a nearby jurisdiction. Ironically, even if we had known this before he goes, we still would not have been able to to pursue him because it was not a "violent felony in progress" ! Lawyers are running and influencing everything we do. Fear of lawsuits and job security of law enforcement's leaders are ultimately the driving influence, plus, today's city leaders don't care about crime and safe streets. They are more interested in reforming law enforcement officers and policy.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

This is common practice almost everywhere. We have the technology to track the criminal and ambush him in a spot where the general public will not be at risk. Those chases, while fun to watch on TV, are destructive and dangerous to the point where the cure is worse than the disease. I agree with it, but to announce it is idiocy. Now, many law breakers will become fugitives with warrants, rather than simply comply.

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

Hmmm... Well, if no high-speed chases - then her next move could be to eliminate emergency response to active shooters, home invasions, armed robbery. She stated that APD should be more "investigative". "Thank you for calling Atlanta Police Department. If your life is at-risk, press 9 for our new automated system that will schedule a high priority appointment within the next 24 hours."

Clay W
Clay W

Why doesn't she just stop arresting all criminals? That way nobody gets their "feelings" hurt. 🙄

Congratulations Atlanta....you get what you deserve. Votes count!

Grampsdeal
Grampsdeal

Oh look...it's don't chase the bad guys and catch them...because, I lesbian skeleton, said so...loser POS!

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Wow..just wow..ok go thugs..you win

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

I think it’s a dumbass policy but then again, what’s the point? I don’t know how Atlanta DAs and judges are but if it was in NYC, Boston, Philly or SF, the fuckstick DAs won’t prosecute anyways and even if they did, the fuckstick libtard judges let them off easy.

JohnWick
JohnWick

Someone shoot her and just drive away.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#publicsafety

Raymelson
Raymelson

I think in most cases the officers no who there chasin so it might actually be safer to go to house an arrest them an until the courts do there job nothing much will change

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

They want to protect women, THEY SAY, but all the actions of these college-trained chiefs and prosecutors say something different. She used the words, Business Model, you are not a business professional you are the top cop! If you were skilled in Business you would not be hanging a PD making small money, when, you could, as a liberal woman add a few zeros to your paycheck, not be a Zero! Stalkers, child abusers of any kind, robberies are driven by drug addiction and are the most violent and deadly offenders, and all are repeat offenders as part of their lifestyle. They need a fast car, the hell with the victims. I hope you sleep well, I don't think you will Ms. Business Model. Then you make a fourth-grade comment, with attitude, "I know crime will go up," make sure it is YOU that goes to the homes of victims to tell them why their dad, and/or mom is dead!

gfc1963
gfc1963

Well criminals - there you go! have a nice day and commit all the crime you want and we won't chase you!

VicG
VicG

Unbelievable. What an idiot...

jarhead24
jarhead24

The Atlanta PD was taken over by progressives years ago. The DA is a joke and a direct reflection of the anti police voters and criminals who run wild throughout the ghetto city

Buzzy
Buzzy

Lawlessness will abound

CommonPatriot
CommonPatriot

What’s her motto? “to neglect and observe”

Stanracer
Stanracer

Wait....what???? Another bleeding heart, hug-a-thug, liberal decision. Can you say: Hell in a handbasket?

LaneysSis
LaneysSis

I hate to say it, but in a way she has a point. Look at New York now. Why should the cops bother when these perps are taken to court and released immediately, go out and repeat offenses, court again, repeat offense, 3 times in one week ! And with the newly elected DA in SF the son of the two domestic terrorists still in prison in Chicago convicted of killing police, who has never prosecuted a case , and wants to initiate "restorative justice" so the victims and the criminals can sit down over tea and discuss it. He wants to end prisons as this is "just not working." Google this POS, Chesa Boudin and be prepared. You may think twice what this Chief is saying.

Brian N
Brian N

Where do they dig up these liberal idiots to be police chiefs?

Dr. Gonzo22
Dr. Gonzo22

Well, if Atlanta is going to have a no chase policy then I guess they will also have a no catch policy. Should empty out the county jails pretty quick. Stupid is as Stupid does.

Julsydan
Julsydan

We are moving toward a lawless society. So a person gets arrested, but runs off and the police can’t chase them. Just let them go. EVERYONE will do that! How dumb!

PGiddy
PGiddy

Is the flight path of a 9mm round considered a “chase”?

charlesjandecka
charlesjandecka

This Chief is right on!! Cops are seldom backed up by the public (write on of them a messily parking ticket sometime) and the judicial system is crushed under a monster case load.

But it's gonna make the job easier for cops! As well as more time to play "Andy Griffith as they laugh all the way to the bank with their paychecks!

JMK2244
JMK2244

I worked in the justice system at various capacities for 45 years. In all those years, I saw such lunacy as we have today, especially by people who are elected to act FOR THE PEOPLE!! Disgusting.

flybynight
flybynight

Atlanta, another great city......... to avoid like the plague.

Heezels
Heezels

As silly as it seems, it makes sense. Why risk the resources, public safety, and the liability of a lawsuit if the judge is just going to release the criminal in a matter of days. Even liberally minded police chiefs seem to understand that hands off or “restorative justice” techniques applied by the court system is only enabling criminally minded people.

The courts need to be harder on criminals. That my take away in what she said. In order for the police to do their job, the court system needs to actually punish criminals otherwise it does a disservice to the police, for risking their lives so that the criminals can get a Manning and a slap on the wrist.

Wayno44
Wayno44

Shows what I know....I thought Atlanta was in the South East....Not the Wild-Wild West!

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

The chief should consider appointing sergeants to supervise the officers on every shift and give the sergeants some authority. Let's start with the sergeant making a determination based on the facts known at the time whether or not to pursue. If the crime or circumstances don't warrant it the sergeant can shut the pursuit down. My God what a novel concept.

HB1
HB1

Interesting how they're putting idiots in charge now....

Skoolboy42
Skoolboy42

I suppose the obvious choice now is to eliminate traffic stops because of the “potential” for a driver to elude. Let’s focus on going only after pedestrians who are coming crimes....oh wait.....since prosecutors are not charging those arrested, why arrest or even respond to crimes. Yes, it will take a while for citizens to welcome in the idea that police are not doing anything about criminals but as long as the 2nd amendment exists, people can defend their own property. Oh, but prosecutors ARE charging citizens who defend their own lives so that’s out the window. I suppose becoming a socialist country is the only option since our local politicians and prosecutors are screwing us anyway. Sigh......I am glad I don’t actually believe this way.....totally!!!!

ikaika
ikaika

Sure, dumbass, blame the judges. Some on here have suggested that the shift supervisors monitor and approve pursuits, which many jurisdictions do now. What would be wrong with that? Doesn't she trust them?

And why do blacks have to have their own separate organizations? Isn't that racist?

She starts her email by telling the officers how great they are, then kicks them in the teeth with this, and tells them that her decision might drive crime up. "At the end of the day," one of Barry's favorite phrases. Just like she told the media, "that's not who we are," another one of his gag-worthy favorites. I'm sorry for you, Atlanta.

SheepDog104
SheepDog104

Brilliant.

Wasiechu1
Wasiechu1

Couple of thoughts. Prosecutors like winning records. The easiest way to do this is to not try weak cases and make plea bargains. Were there no plea bargains defendants would all demand jury trials. That will clog the courts and commit resources into trials. Judges want to move things along. In many cases they dismiss cases. This goes back to the limited resources. Then there are the jails. There is always overcrowding and it can get worse with no plea bargains etc. The means cons get “good time” no matter what. Overcrowding leads to lawsuits. Then there is the racial aspect. “To many” of one race or another, leads to bad publicity.

61mouse
61mouse

Don't know about her did she start as a grunt or was she thrown in that position off the street. She doesn't look like anyone that started as a grunt

61mouse
61mouse

So that means all they pull over and then they take off they can't chase ..

Rob56
Rob56

Drones are a new method of tracking.

61mouse
61mouse

So does that mean if a cop gets shot they can't go after ???


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