New Policy Seeks to Minimize Risks Associated with Police Pursuits

Contact: Shanon Banner, MSP Public Affairs, 517-284-3222

September 19, 2017

The Michigan State Police (MSP) today announced a revised pursuit policy that limits pursuits to situations where there is reasonable cause to believe the driver or occupant(s) of the pursued vehicle has committed a felony, other than the crime of fleeing and eluding. The policy also requires members to consider a number of other factors outlined in the policy before engaging or continuing in a vehicle pursuit. Training on the new pursuit policy will begin immediately.

The MSP would like to emphasize that while it is the police officer who initiates a traffic stop, it is the violator who initiates a pursuit by his/her refusal to stop. All pursuits would end if the violator stopped. Further, this change in policy should not be seen as an invitation to flee from the MSP, as the crime of fleeing and eluding is a felony in Michigan.

“While some pursuits may be discontinued based on our revised policy, the investigation into the felony of fleeing and eluding is just beginning for motorists who choose to flee,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “We have excellent investigators and I’m confident they will find all violators.”

The department’s revised policy aligns with model policy from the International Association of Chiefs of Police that discourages vehicle pursuits for minor violations. As with any change to policy, the department will closely monitor the impact on public safety and will adjust the policy if need arises.