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GENERAL ORDER 2/5/09 0115 0508-09

INDEX AS: References:
All Personnel Iowa Code Chapter 321

Police Department Operations Manual

Chapter 4 - Operations

Section Number: 4-2-1

Section Title: Police Vehicle - High Speed Pursuits
Most Recent 1-29-09
CALEA Reference: 41.2.2


A. The initiation of pursuit is justified when, in the officer’s judgment, a suspect

exhibits the intent to avoid arrest using a motor vehicle to flee. Initially, the
officer must determine if the necessity of immediate apprehension outweighs the
level of danger created by the pursuit. This evaluation must continue throughout
the course of the pursuit by the officer and his/her supervisor. All high speed
pursuits will be conducted in strict accordance with Sections 321.231 of the Iowa
Code and all emergency vehicles will utilize both audible and visual signaling
devices when engaged in emergency situations.
Section Number: 4-2-2
Section Title: High Speed Pursuit Procedures
Most Recent Update: 1-19-09
CALEA Reference: 41.2.2


The purpose of this policy is to offer guidelines to officers, supervisors and dispatchers
involved in vehicle pursuits to minimize the danger to the public, the officer and the
pursued driver/passengers. The policy is also intended to place the ultimate control
and continuation of a pursuit with the supervisor on duty while giving the involved officer
continuous discretion to discontinue at any time.

A. Initiation

The pursuing officer must carefully consider the safety of persons and property
before engaging in a pursuit. Some of the factors that should be considered
when determining whether to initiate, continue or terminate a pursuit are:

1. Time of day - high speed pursuits occurring during a time when there is a
high level of activity (businesses, schools), are normally more hazardous
than those occurring during periods of low activity.

2. Volume of vehicular traffic - pursuits occurring during periods of heavy

traffic flow are more hazardous than those occurring at other times.

3. Location of pursuit - Pursuits through residential areas or along streets

near or adjacent to schools are normally more hazardous than those in
lightly populated areas.

4. Weather conditions.

5. Road conditions.

6. Speed involved.

7. Nature of charges - Pursuits for people known or suspected of involvement

in felonies are viewed as more justifiable than those for persons suspected
of traffic or other misdemeanor violations.

8. The condition of the police vehicle should be considered.

9. Consideration should be given to the driving skills of the pursuing officer.

10. Can the offender be identified?

B. Pursuit Decision Matrix

Officers will use the following Pursuit Decision Matrix as guidance in

determining whether to initiate or continue a pursuit. It is a guide designed to
assist the officers in their use of discretion and will be followed. The degrees of
risks are defined as follows:


a. Marked vehicles

b. Straight roads, good surfaces, clear line of sight

c. Few intersections

d. Few or no pedestrians

e. Good weather

f. No hazardous maneuvers by violator

g. Officer is calm and in control


a. Some intersecting streets (i.e., residential area)

b. Light pedestrian traffic

c. Moderate traffic, little congestion

d. Officer generally calm, under control

e. Some hazardous, but not extreme, maneuvers (i.e., crossing center line
to pass vehicles, sudden lane changes) by the violator


a. Frequent intersecting streets (i.e., a business district)

b. Poor weather, slippery streets, low visibility

c. Blind curves, intersections, narrow streets, or areas that are unfamiliar to

the officer

d. Numerous pedestrians

e. Heavy, congested traffic

f. Speed twice the posted speed limit

g. Extremely hazardous maneuvers (i.e., driving against oncoming traffic,
failing to stop for red lights) by the violator

h. Numerous law enforcement vehicles in pursuit

i. Officer excited, not in full control of emotions

j. Special circumstances (i.e., school zones, hospitals, etc.)


The courts have decided that the officer will be judged from the perspective of a
reasonable officer on the scene (Graham V. Conner). With this in mind, officers should
give serious consideration to all of the factors before deciding to initiate a pursuit and
continue to evaluate the need to pursue versus terminating the pursuit.

An officer will not be disciplined for their failure to pursue. Discretion is the better part
of valor.

C. Notification

When a motor vehicle pursuit is initiated, it will be immediately reported to the

dispatcher by the pursuing officer. The initial information will include:

1. The reason for the pursuit.

2. The location, speed and direction of travel.

3. The description of the fleeing vehicle, including license plate number.

4. The number of occupants and description of occupants if observed.

5. The officer will update the information as it becomes available or changes.

D. Communication Center Responsibilities

1. Communications during a pursuit is vital to the safe apprehension of the

offender as well as the officers involved and general public. The
communications center will have the following responsibilities:

a. Contact surrounding agencies and advise them of the pursuit. We do

not encourage involvement of other agencies in the pursuit other than
for perimeter control and assistance in attempts to identify the violator
unless specifically requested otherwise.

b. Coordinate the communication with other Cedar Rapids Police Officers

and keep all personnel up to date on the pursuit.

c. Ensure that the watch commander/supervisor is aware of the pursuit

and is monitoring its progress.
E. Supervisory Responsibilities

1. Supervisors will assume control of all pursuits. This can be accomplished
as the secondary/back up car or through radio communications.
Supervisors will monitor all pursuits and approve any special tactic that will
be used, i.e., stop sticks, etc.

2. In the event the supervisor is the officer that initiated the pursuit, he/she
may continue or relinquish that position as soon as another car becomes

3. The supervisor’s foremost thoughts should be safety, methods of

identifying the fleeing vehicle, tactics to stop the fleeing violator, and
coordination of all officers.

4. The supervisor will order the termination of the pursuit when, in his
judgment, the necessity of apprehension is outweighed by the level of
danger created by the pursuit.

F. Pursuit Tactics

NOTE: Pursuit at high speeds under the best of conditions is an extremely dangerous
situation. Any tactic contemplated when high speed is involved, requires advance
planning, taking into consideration all of the factors surrounding the incident at hand.
Safety is always the foremost factor to be considered. The following are some possible
alternatives to consider in stopping the fleeing vehicle:

1. Consider alternatives, through radio communication and the assistance of

other police officers. A determination should be made as to whether the
offender can be identified and apprehended later.

2. Use STOP STICKS as trained.

G. Specialized Police Vehicles

1. Officers operating unmarked vehicles, equipped with visual and audible

signaling devices, may engage in pursuits only when the fleeing vehicle
presents an immediate threat to persons and then only until a marked
unit is available to assume the pursuit, at which point the unmarked will
withdraw and serve only in a support role.

2. Police vehicles without emergency equipment, i.e., visual or audible

signaling devices, high profile vehicles, SUV’s, vans, and pick-up
trucks, WILL NOT ENGAGE IN PURSUITS. In those cases where the
fleeing vehicle presents an immediate threat of death or serious injury,
they may participate in a support role until properly equipped police
units arrive.

H. Following the Fleeing Vehicle

1. All units will be spaced in such a manner to allow time to react to

evasive maneuvers of the fleeing vehicle or another police vehicle.
Officers will not pursue the fleeing vehicle the wrong way on interstate
or controlled access roadways unless specifically authorized to do so
by a supervisory officer. There will be no paralleling of a pursuit.

I. Stop Sticks

1. All marked Cedar Rapids Police units are equipped with STOP
STICKS. All Officers will be trained on how to use the Stop Sticks via
the companies training video during their Field Training assignment
and must show to their Field Training Officer in a simulated pursuit
how to assemble and deploy the Stop Stick.

2. The three (3) foot sections are comprised of steel quills and spike tips
as well as a thirty (30) foot cord and reel. Stop Sticks are designed to
be used on vehicles with four or more wheels only and are to be
deployed on paved (concrete or blacktop) surfaces only. The Stop
Stick can be deployed in one of two ways.

(a) If time does not allow for connection of the three (3) Stop Sticks,
simply lay the three Stop Sticks end to end across the avenue
of escape as the target vehicle approaches.

(b) When time allows, connect the three (3) Stop Sticks end to end.
Place them across the avenue of escape, creating one (1) nine
(9) foot unit of sticks. Stop Sticks can also be assembled
adjacent to the open lane with the cord line as the target vehicle
approaches. DO NOT wrap the cord reel line around any part
of your body at any time.

Once the unit is connected, do not pick the unit up without first
disassembling the three sticks. The unit can be moved by
pulling the entire nine (9) foot stick with the cord reel.

The officer deploying the Stop Stick will inform the pursuing
officers that the Stop Stick has been deployed and will give the
location of such deployment. The deploying officer will also turn
on all overhead (red and amber flashing) lights to visually
designate the area in which the Stop Sticks are deployed. The
officer will position himself in a safe location away from the point
of contact between the target vehicle and the deployed Stop

After the Stop Stick has been hit and deformed by a vehicle, it
is no longer fully functional and should be replaced. If the
vehicle does not pass through the deployed area or strike the
stop stick, the Stop Stick can be reused.



J. Firearms

1. Except under the following circumstances, shooting from or at a moving vehicle

is prohibited (The Code of Iowa, section 704):

(a) When an occupant of the fleeing vehicle is utilizing deadly force against
the police officer or other persons.

(b) As a last resort to prevent death or substantial harm to the officer or other

(c) As a last resort to apprehend a felon who has just committed a felony
resulting in death or substantial injury.

2. The discharge of firearms will not be utilized when the circumstances do not
provide a high probability of striking the intended target or when there is a
substantial risk to the safety of other persons, including risks of causing
vehicle accidents.
K. Number of Pursuit Vehicles

1. The pursuit should be limited to two vehicles, a primary unit and a secondary
unit. Other officers will be kept informed of the pursuit and should be in a
position to assist if the pursuit enters their area of responsibility. There will
be no paralleling of a pursuit, or caravan of police vehicles attempting to join
the pursuit and there will be no attempt by officers to pass other units
involved in the pursuit unless permission is given by the supervisor in charge
of the pursuit.

2 Secondary Unit Responsibilities

(a) Assistance will be coordinated by communication personnel under the

direction of a supervisor. The supervisor and primary unit will be
advised of the identity and location of backup units who can assist.

(1). The active pursuit will normally involve not more than two units: the
primary unit and one backup unit. If more assistance is specifically
requested the amount will be determined by:

i. Nature of offense,

ii. Number of suspects,

iii. Whether the participating units have more than one officer,

iv. Other clear and articulated facts that would warrant the
increased hazard.

(2). The secondary unit, upon joining the pursuit, shall immediately
notify communications of its identity. If the primary is a one-man
unit, the secondary unit may assume radio communications

responsibility, allowing the primary unit to devote full attention to

(3). The secondary unit will maintain a safe distance behind the
primary unit, but be close enough to render backup assistance if
and when required.

(4). Secondary units shall, at all costs, avoid intersecting the path of
an oncoming high-speed vehicle.

(5). If the primary unit becomes disabled, the secondary unit will
become the primary unit. Communications will advise the watch
supervisor and other units that a new backup unit is needed, and
the next unit to join the pursuit will be designated the secondary

L. Pursuit Intervention Technique (P.I.T.) [THE CEDAR RAPIDS POLICE

Definition: P.I.T. is defined as when an officer intentionally makes contact
between the patrol car and the fleeing car. The officer will use either front
fender of the patrol car against the opposite rear fender of the fleeing vehicle
and then turning the patrol car into the fender of the fleeing vehicle. This action
will cause the fleeing car to enter a slide or spin in an attempt to cause the
driver to lose control of the vehicle, ending the chase.

NOTE: Officers of the Cedar Rapids Police Department will not initiate any vehicle
contact at all unless the officer can clearly articulate the justification to utilize deadly




Violent Felony- May Pursue May Pursue. May Pursue. Discontinue if

Continue to Risks Exceed Known
Imminent Threat Assess Risk Continue to Threat to Public Safety if
Assess Risks Capture is Delayed

Felony-Violent May Pursue May Pursue. May Pursue. Discontinue

Crimes if Risks Exceed Known
Continue to Continue to Threat to Public Safety if
Assess risk Assess Risk. Capture is Delayed

Felony-Property May Pursue May Pursue. Discontinue or Do Not

Crimes Pursue
Continue to Continue to
Assess Risk Assess Risk

Misdemeanors, May Pursue Discontinue or Discontinue or Do Not

and Traffic Do Not Pursue Pursue
Violations that are Continue to
Safety Related. Assess Risk

Minor Infractions Do Not Pursue Do Not Pursue Do Not Pursue

That Are Not
Safety Related

Section Number: 4-2-3
Section Title: Termination Of Pursuit
Most Recent Update: 1-20-09
CALEA Reference: 41.2.2


A. Pursuit will be terminated under any one of the following reasons

1. A supervisor or higher authority orders the pursuit terminated.

2. In the opinion of the officer or supervisor, the danger to the officers or others in
the area outweighs the necessity for immediate apprehension.

3. The offense is a traffic infraction, misdemeanor or other non-violent felony and

the violator is known.

4. Visual contact is lost or the distance between the officer and the pursued
vehicle is so great further pursuit is futile.

5. The pursuing officer believes the fleeing vehicle is being operated by a juvenile
and the offense constitutes a traffic infraction, misdemeanor or non-violet

6. When there is an equipment failure involving the emergency lights, siren,

radio, brakes, steering or other essential mechanical equipment.

B. While not necessarily dictating immediate action, serious and continuing

consideration should be given to termination of a pursuit under the following

1. Environmental factors such as rain, fog or darkness substantially increase the

danger of the pursuit.

2. Road conditions are congested by traffic or pedestrians, such as at rush hour

or in the area of any school.

Section Number: 4-2-4
Section Title: Reporting
Most Recent 1-20-09
CALEA Reference: 41.2.2 / 41.2.3


A. The pursuing officer and shift supervisor will forward a written report detailing the
pursuit to the Division Commander before completing their tour of duty.

B. The supervisor of the unit initiating the pursuit shall be responsible for submission
of a written analysis and critique of the pursuit through the chain of command to
the Chief of Police. The report should include the following:

1. Evaluation of the circumstances involved;

2. Initiating officers performed their responsibilities outlined in 4-2-1;

3. Any designated secondary unit(s) and their compliance to 4-2-1;

4. Did the dispatcher(s) perform his responsibilities outlined in 4-19-5 (K);

5. Did the supervisor perform their responsibilities outlined in 4-2-1;

6. Was force used to stop the vehicle, i.e., stop sticks, firearm, etc;

7. Were procedures followed specifying when to terminate pursuit outlined in 4-2-


C. The Professional Standards Unit conducts an annual, documented analysis of

those reports as required by this section. Police Staff will review the pursuits for
the year with the intent of analyzing the policy, identifying training needs, and
improving safety.

Section Number: 4-2-5
Section Title: Inter-Jurisdictional Vehicle Pursuits
Most Recent Update: 1-20-09
CALEA Reference: None


A. To establish a common ground on inter-jurisdictional pursuits that is agreeable to

the participating agencies when traveling from boundary to boundary.

B. The agencies included are: Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Marion Police
Department, Robins Police Department, Hiawatha Police Department, Iowa State


A. The agency initiating the pursuit should be the primary car; preferably the 2nd
car is from the jurisdiction being entered.

B. Dispatch will be notified immediately and provided with suspect and vehicle
description along with any known charges.

C. The agency initiating the pursuit will ensure that a linking channel is used so
pursuing agencies will have communications throughout the event.

D. The jurisdiction being entered has the option to choose whether or not to
participate in the pursuit. This would not preclude the originating agency from

E. The role of jurisdiction being entered is that of a support role – i.e. blocking busy
intersections, stop sticks.

F. The employee, regardless of where the pursuit takes them, will abide to the
pursuit policy of their jurisdiction.

G. The decision to use the PIT maneuver is based solely on the supervisory
discretion of the originating agency (CEDAR RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT

H. No more than one vehicle and/or one supervisor directly involved in pursuit
regardless of agencies involved.

I. The communication center that starts the pursuit would continue with all
transmissions on a Linking channel and have the option to pass the chase to
another center as the pursuit moves further away.

It is well understood that these are general guidelines and are subject to change
based upon mitigating circumstances such as; weather, type of crime,
supervisory oversight, threat of public harm, and so on.

J. Pursuits originating by Cedar Rapids police which continue into other jurisdictions
beyond City limits;

1. Will receive a supervisor’s permission prior to leaving the City limits,

2. Will not continue the pursuit beyond the State of Iowa’s borders,

3. Will not continue the pursuit when radio communications with Cedar Rapids
Dispatch are lost





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