LA police chases resulting in increased injuries to bystanders

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The number of bystanders injured in police chases in Los Angeles hit its highest number in at least a decade last year, leading to calls for the LAPD to look at reviewing its pursuit policy.

Los Angeles Police Department chases resulted in 78 injuries to bystanders in 2015, according to the CHP. That's the highest it's been in at least 10 years. In other California big cities, the number is much lower. In San Francisco and San Diego, it's just four each.

That is leading to some calls for the LAPD to review its pursuit policy.

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Bruce Thomas, a former law enforcement officer who was involved in some chases, said Los Angeles may see more pursuits because of its spread-out geography.

He noted that law-enforcement agencies have specific policies governing chases that are designed to minimize injuries, looking at speed and traffic conditions.

"They're going to ask certain things. What's the traffic conditions? If the traffic conditions are light, they'll let it go. If they're heavy they're probably not going to let it go as much."

In a statement, the LAPD said: "We are always evaluating the tactics we use to pursue suspects and during a chase we are constantly evaluating the conditions, balancing the criminal acts of a suspect with the safety of the community."
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