The Naples police department has made a tough decision. Officers will decline to pursue criminal suspects in motor vehicles unless they are wanted for a violent felony.
That rules out suspects who officers instinctively want to pursue, such as speeders or vandals seemingly caught in the act.
We can discuss and debate all day long whether the Naples police force is making the right call. We can analyze how much helicopters and police radios can take the place of officers on the ground in speeding cars and SUVs.
Still, it is each department’s own policy to make, and it shows something encouraging — that the department’s leadership and rank and file have given this a lot of hard, serious thought.
What makes sense to one vicinity’s street layout or commercial/residential grid might not make sense to the next area’s.
Naples police recognize the up side as well as the serious down side of chasing one or more vehicles on public streets, usually in traffic and at high speeds. One or more innocents can get hurt.
In plain language, as a local police instructor puts it, the decision to chase or not comes down to the answer to this question: Is the juice worth the squeeze?
We are glad for the discussion and to see it handled so professionally and proactively.