ASHVILLE – The council approved a resolution Monday establishing a new revised police pursuit policy that will no longer allow the Police Department to use the PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver.
Mayor Derrick Mostella said the issue was discussed by the council during its last meeting.
Mostella said PIT is used when an officer is attempting to end a chase by bumping the vehicle that is being chased in order to spin it out.
“We are constantly working on anything that will improve us overall,” he said. “This is one that is a ‘Catch 22.’ When you have folks out there running from the police, you feel like they should be caught.”
Mostella said at the end of the day, however, city officials have to refer to their attorney and do what’s best for the municipality.
“The way legal precedent is starting to turn, it’s only a matter of time when there is going to be a huge lawsuit against some city due to some injury that occurred while the police was attempting to stop someone running from the law,” the mayor said. “The police are only out there doing what they can to protect all of the other citizens.”
Mostella said the city has spent “a pretty good penny” repairing police vehicles over the past couple of years because of chases that have ended in crashes.
“This new policy lays out some parameters for pursuits,” he said. “We have had a couple of officers to use (the) PIT maneuver during the past couple of years that caused significant damage to police vehicles. I think this is a good policy.”
In another matter Monday, Mostella recognized Councilwoman Sue Price for successfully completing additional education and training through the University of North Alabama.
Price completed 30 hours of training focusing on the skills essential to an effective planning and zoning official through the Alabama Planning Institute, UNA and the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Mostella presented Price with a certificate at the end of the meeting.
In other business, the council;
- Approved the minutes from the Jan. 23 council meeting; and
- Approved paying bills that are due.
The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. due to Presidents Day being Monday, Feb. 19.
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.