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See how police officers train for vehicle pursuits

The officers eyes aren’t just focused on that suspect, they’re watching all surroundings
See how officers train for police pursuits
Published: Mar. 12, 2022 at 1:00 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - We’ve seen several police pursuits recently and each one is unique and the circumstances always differ. Toledo Police are always taught safety, even safety of the person fleeing them, is the number one priority.

The officers eyes aren’t just focused on that suspect, they’re watching all surroundings including anybody innocently passing by.

In training they’re cones on a closed course on a nice sunny day but in the future pursuits will involve real bad guys, real residents just driving along these roads and officers in a life or death situation.

“Our biggest concern is other citizens, our safety and believe it or not actually the safety of the suspect,” said Toledo Police patrolman Tyson Phalen.

Toledo Police officers and cadets train at Owens Community College. Officers don’t have to stay at a certain speed, they asses the conditions and surroundings and determine what’s safe.

“It’s basically common sense as to how fast you think you can drive for the conditions. That are there whether it’s how heavy the traffic is, pedestrian traffic or even the weather,” said Phalen.

Any officer in the pursuit can terminate it along with a supervisor. Which officers admit can be deflating but it’s always done to keep everyone safe.

“We get tunnel vision. We want to get the suspect. Sometimes it’s hard to turn that off,” said Phalen.

Toledo Police do not chase drivers on the highway going the wrong way and will base part of their decision on when to stop on conditions and who exactly they’re chasing.

“If we know somebody murdered somebody than yeah we’re going to do everything we can in order to stop them. If it’s a traffic violation, if they ran a red light now we’re not going to chase them down,” said Phalen.

If officers get a plate, the hope is to find that person later in a situation that won’t put lots of other people in harms way.

“Sometimes you have to learn to lay back and let it go. Eventually they’ll get caught for something,” said Phalen.

Chases at night make all that you just heard even more complicated, especially trying to judge distances when it’s much harder to see.

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