The number of police pursuits in Regina last year is up by 26 compared to 2017.
Chief of Police Evan Bray many of these incidents the Regina Police Service faces involve people who are under the influence.
He admitted it’s harder since there’s a higher chance person(s) will make different decisions, and usually the more dangerous choice, when they are drunk or high compared to when they are sober.
Bray said it’s also tougher being a police officer now compared to in the past, adding when he was on the street, things were slightly easier.
“The risk is higher, and so we need to find ways to provide them the tools to deal with it,” he explained. “Part of that is providing them policies to keep them safe, like a pursuit policy, that allows us to manage risk in the community and keeps our officers safe.”
Each pursuit is reviewed by a pursuit review board of seven officers. The incident is placed into one of four different categories with level one being appropriate and fully compliant with policy, and level four being inappropriate action and the potential for criminal charges to be laid.
According to Chief Bray, since the large majority of cases land in level two, it means the tactic was correct but the policy would have been somewhat incorrect.
“Usually it’s a conversation with the supervisor and the officer to make sure they understand you’re supposed to send a memo to the comm centre requesting a copy of the audio radio transmission included in the pursuit package. That could be a breach of policy which is administrative and not something that happened on the street.”
When asked why there have been more pursuits in the Queen City over the last couple years, Bray said a lot of it has to do with suspects not wanting to pay the consequences of the crimes they commit.