Peake’s new direction came in a September 2, 2009 memo where she announced “[a]s of this date, there are to be no more foot chases when a suspect runs. I do not want anyone chasing after any suspects whatsoever.“
It is not clear how the town will define a chase. If an officer walks briskly in the direction of a fleeing bank robber, is it a chase?
Can a criminal injured in a chase claim that he was injured by a violation of police protocol and guidelines?
She explained to reporters that “[t]he officers are costing us more money on insurance than most citizens here in the city of Wellford are even earning.“ She says the city pays $20,000 annually in workers’ compensation claims, often to police officers. Three officers have been injured in foot chases in the last two years.
Here is the new department theme song for Wellford:
Her encounter with a reporter named Cato was a bit odd:
Reporter: “Are you telling your officers if they witness a crime – they witness someone commit a crime on someone else and they’re ten yards away – they can’t go stop that person?“
Peake: “Is that in there?“ (referring to policy)
Reporter: “It says no chases whatsoever.“
Peake: “Well, that’s what I said, no chases, didn’t I? I didn’t say nothing about a crime. If you see a crime, this that and the other -“
Reporter: “Well, that’s what a chase is – “
Peake: “Well, I told them no chase on foot, and (the police chief) know exactly what I mean, so you’re trying to twist what I -“
Reporter: “No, I’m not. You said no chases. No chases means no chases.“
Peake: (claps hands) “You got you a story, thank God! You are so sweet! You got you a story on a woman in Wellford! Hallelujah! I’m so proud of you, Mr. Cato!“
Wellford may be the paradise long sought by hobos and felonious travelers. Notably, in the song Big Rock Candy Mountain promises “cops with wooden legs”:
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
The cops have wooden legs,
The bull-dogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs.
The Box-cars all are empty
And the sun shines ev’ry day
I’m bound to go where there ain’t no snow
Where the sleet don’t fall
And the wind don’t blow,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountain
Of course, some police chases can border on the ridiculous:
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