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Navigating PursuitWatch.org

PursuitWatch.org is an archived resource for police pursuit related content.


The Media Kit offers quotes, statistics, and contact information to experts for citizens who want to learn more about the issue.


The Archives contain a wealth of PursuitWatch articles concerning all aspects of pursuits. Articles date as far back as 2003.

Dedicated public-service advocates


By Candy Priano

Founder & Executive Director of Voices Insisting on PursuitSAFETY


John PhillipsJohn Phillips (left) and I worked together—united—as we tackled this complex public safety issue called “vehicular police pursuits.” In no time at all, we were helping each other. The days, weeks, months and years that followed were a precious gift—a cherished gift.


My heart still aches because I can no longer “hear” the smile in John’s voice as it was when we spoke on the phone. I will, however, remember these words when I think of John: "amazing," "free-spirited," and most of all "dear friend."


John Phillips died, as a result of a stroke. (March 21, 1984-August 4, 2011).


Jim and SarahIn the past, PursuitWatch and PursuitSAFETY partnered to save lives.

Now, PursuitSAFETY is determined to continue this partnership by maintaining this website. Returning and new visitors to this site will have access to the work and research by both John and his late father Jim Phillips (right looking at picture of Sarah). All can learn about the tragedy of pursuits and read the Sarah Phillips’ Story.  


Archive: The presses roll, and the carnage continues...


The following was written by Jim Phillips, PursuitWatch.org's founder, and posted on 10/10/03


They are the ultimate reality program, life and death, live and in living color. The Police Pursuit-from COPS to The Scariest Police Chases to live broadcasts- a heart thumping, adrenaline pumping high-stakes game of cat and mouse where the loser, or innocents, may pay the supreme price. In many American cities beepers sound to warn of a pursuit in progress. The voyeuristic thrill of the chase is addictive and America cannot get enough.


What is ignored by the public, as well as the breathless reporters hanging from the doors of helicopters or ex-cop narrators spouting endless streams of law and order cliches is that the drama being played out before them is deadly serious. Hundreds of people die, thousands of people are injured and millions, upon millions, of dollars worth of property damage occur, and liability insurance rates soar for police departments.


Not only are police pursuits controversial entertainment they are a hot topic in the law enforcement community, among insurance underwriters, in municipal governments and state legislatures and are of more than passing interest to most news organizations


You can read the post in its entirety HERE.


For more from the PhillipsWatch Blog / Archived Blog Entries


Empirical Evidence:


Unfortunately, law enforcement often change policy not out of extensive research and data, but rather from anecdotal evidence, as a result of a dramatic event, department culture, or other reasons. As an effort to help departments take a methodical approach, PursuitWatch.org has started posting a different bit of empirical evidence each week.


Orlando, Florida-Seven year anniversary of restrictive pursuit policy passes

On March 1, 2004 the Orlando Police Department adopted what PursuitWatch believes is the most progressive pursuit policy in the United States. This followed the adoption of a similarly progressive policy by the Orange County Sheriff's Office in the fall of 2003 and preceded adoption of the Orlando model by the remaining 8 agencies in Orange County. OPD Chief Mike McCoy's Staff Inspections Unit reported that in the 12 months since the policy was adopted OPD made 40,460 traffic stops. The department had 11 pursuits and 107 suspects who refused to stop.  To sum up-118 suspects fled and 40,342 obeyed the order to stop. OPD reported that in 2003 there were 20,291 reported felonies which declined slightly in 2004 to 20,065. Given the fact that Orlando was, at the time, the 3rd fastest growing metropolitan area in the county and one of the top tourist destinations as well, these results soundly contradict those who predicted that there would be large increases in the numbers of suspects who flee. Anarchy was not the result. The result is that Orlando is a safer place to live, work and visit-thanks to the foresight of Chief Mike McCoy and the dedication and professionalism of the members of the Orlando Police Department. Truly one of the nation's finest.


PursuitWatch Poll

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Poll Archives

The PursuitWatch Reading Room

The Myth of the Split-second Decision 
The AWOL American media 
Police Pursuits-A national epidemic  
The presses roll and the carnage continues...
Pursuit Policy is more than just pursuit policy  
If the bad guys hadn't run none of this would have happened…


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Awards PursuitWatch has won

The PhillipsWatch Blog

The State of Florida v. Shamir Suber

  "Well, I'm Takin' my time, I'm just movin' on..."
Chapter 1   "I'm going to kill that…”
Chapter 2   "I've got the victim in the other car. Signal 4. She's not breathing."
Chapter 3    "Good-bye Roo."
Chapter 4    "V2 stopped to yield to a Law Enforcement officer..."
James Phillips Sentencing hearing statement

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This page last updated 4/17/12
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