HPD records nearly a two-thirds increase in pursuits over the last year as chase policy changes

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, September 21, 2023
HPD chief on need for chase policy: Suspects driving 4K-lb. 'missile'
Chief Troy Finner used Thursday's funeral service for an HPD sergeant's mother to address the need for changes to the department's chase policy.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Gloria Collins, the mother of a Houston police sergeant, was laid to rest Thursday two weeks after she was killed in a crash as suspects tried to evade officers.

Since her death, the Houston Police Department put in a new policy that now requires supervisors to approve all pursuits.

Police Chief Troy Finner attended the memorial before addressing Houston City Council during its safety committee meeting, not only about the policy but to also present statistics related to pursuits.

SEE PREVIOUS STORY: 'Too many': HPD Chief Finner reveals revised version of chase policy amid growing number of pursuits

"When the suspect flees and makes that decision to flee, it is so dangerous," Finner said. "It is at least a 4,000-pound vehicle, a missile that they are driving reckless with no regard for anybody."

Finner presented data showing a 26% increase in vehicle pursuits, a 63% increase in crashes during pursuits, and a 38% increase in injuries during pursuits - all over the past year.

His new policy means officers can't pursue criminals accused only of minor thefts, traffic violations, or misdemeanor warrants. From now on, supervisors must approve all pursuits.

You can explore the city's crime rates down to the neighborhood with the ABC13 Neighborhood Safety Tracker.

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