Cruiser Control - the Wheel to Win
Law enforcement agencies across the nation have neglected the need for advanced driving training, as well as the need for a change in the way law enforcement professionals do business relative to operating emergency vehicles. Many progressive law enforcement agencies throughout the nation have embraced more intensive driving training by implementing what some refer to as tactical driving training. On the other hand, some have failed to acknowledge the fact that until recent years, law enforcement has lost more officers in the line of duty due to vehicle crashes than the profession has lost to felonious assaults or any other line of duty cause of death (www.odmp.org). There is no doubt that any law enforcement line of duty death is a tragedy and therefore, affects the entire law enforcement community. However, when pondering on what can be done as an industry to reduce the number of law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty each year, the decision and policy makers must focus on that of which officers have the most control over; and that is one’s own actions and behavior. No one can predict the next ambush-style attack or the next bank robbery shootout, but what can be predicted is that if officers drive their police vehicles at unnecessary high rates of speed and especially while not wearing safety restraints, injuries and or fatalities are fairly predictable should a crash occur. Thus, according to Gordon Graham, a notable Risk Management expert, if it is predictable then it is preventable (Ashton, 2016). In establishing and requiring more driving training and an effective policy for how officers respond to calls for service, as well as pursuit driving, will certainly reduce in the number of officers killed in the line of duty each year. In addition, the number of innocent citizens injured or killed each year, as well as civil litigation, can be reduced.