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St. Louis area police chiefs recommend common chase policy

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

Clayton, Mo. – The St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association wants all of the law enforcement agencies here to follow a common vehicle pursuit policy.

The group is recommending police departments implement guidelines from a national accreditation board.

Those include considering the seriousness of the offense and assessing the volume of traffic before giving chase.

Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne heads the association. He says the recommendations are voluntary, and it's up to each department whether or not to follow them.

"There will continue to be pursuits," Byrne said. "And I think that standardizing the polices with everybody makes it easier when you go from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But is this going to severely reduce the amount of pursuits? No."

Byrne says about three-quarters of the departments in St. Louis County already follow the guidelines.

The recommendations come nearly four months after a suspect led three Maplewood officers on a high-speed chase into St. Louis city during rush hour.