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0630.15 Foot Pursuits

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
PPB-0630.15
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0630.15, Foot Pursuits

Refer:

  • ORS 131.615, Stopping of persons
  • ORS 153.039 Stop and detention for violation
  • DIR 0600.00, Use of Aircraft
  • DIR 0630.05, Vehicle Pursuits
  • DIR 0720.00, Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) Use
  • DIR 1010.00, Use of Force

Definitions:

  • De-escalation: A deliberate attempt to prevent or reduce the amount of force necessary to resolve the confrontation.
  • Foot pursuit: An attempt, by a member on foot, to end the flight of a suspect by closing the distance (proximity) on the suspect or using physical control.
  • Tactical Apprehension Strategy: A plan, not including a foot pursuit, to safely monitor and, ultimately, apprehend a fleeing suspect.

Policy:

1. This policy establishes procedures for utilizing Tactical Apprehension Strategies and engaging in foot pursuits. The Portland Police Bureau authorizes only its sworn members to engage in foot pursuits.

2. The Bureau acknowledges the inherent dangers that foot pursuits pose to Bureau and community members. Safety is paramount and will be members’ primary consideration when determining whether to initiate or continue a foot pursuit. Accordingly, the Bureau prioritizes the use of tactical apprehension strategies over foot pursuits because of their emphasis on de-escalation. However, the Bureau also recognizes that its members have a duty and responsibility to attempt to apprehend offenders when appropriate. Members must conduct foot pursuits in a way that minimizes the risks to Bureau and community members.

Procedure:

1. Deciding Whether to Pursue.

1.1. Members have the authority to stop any person they reasonably suspect has committed or is about to commit a crime.

1.2. If a suspect flees on foot, members should decide whether to pursue with an awareness of the degree of risk to which the member exposes themselves and others.

1.3. A foot pursuit in and of itself does not constitute a use of force. If, during the course of a foot pursuit, a member uses force, the member must act in accordance with Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, with regard to their application and reporting of force.

1.4. No member of the Bureau shall criticize or retaliate against another member for deciding not to initiate, discontinuing their involvement in, or terminating a foot pursuit.

2. Tactical Apprehension Strategies.

2.1. Tactical apprehension strategies are not foot pursuits. Examples of tactical apprehension strategies include, but are not limited to:

2.1.1. Following and maintaining a safe distance.

2.1.2. Paralleling the suspect.

2.1.3. Following a different route than the suspect (e.g., wide corners).

2.1.4. Using available cover (e.g., parked cars).

2.1.5. Establishing a perimeter and conducting a block search or K9 track.

2.1.6. Obtaining assistance from Air Support Unit or SERT.

2.2. Members are required to employ tactical apprehension strategies instead of initiating a foot pursuit, unless there is an articulable reason why a foot pursuit would be safer for the member or the general public. .

3. Foot Pursuit Restrictions.

3.1. Members shall not engage in or continue foot pursuits in the following circumstances:

3.1.1. Armed suspects unless, in extreme circumstances, no other alternative strategy is feasible and a delay in the apprehension of the suspect would present a threat of death or serious physical injury to others;

3.1.2. If a suspect enters a building, structure, wooded area or otherwise isolated area and the member is not accompanied by a cover officer.

3.1.3. The member believes that the danger to the pursuing member or the public outweighs the necessity for immediate apprehension;

3.1.4. The member is disarmed;

3.1.5. The member loses contact with the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) and no other means of communication exists;

3.1.6. The member loses visual contact of the suspect(s) for more than a brief period of time (1-2 seconds);

3.1.7. The member is not familiar with and is unable to communicate the direction of travel or location sufficient enough for other members to assist;

3.1.8. The member is unsure of their location; or

3.1.9. When instructed to not engage or continue a foot pursuit by a supervisor.

4. Member Responsibilities When Engaging in Foot Pursuits.

4.1. Once a member initiates a foot pursuit, the pursuing member shall notify BOEC and broadcast the following information when it is safe to do so:

4.1.1. The suspect’s direction of travel and description;

4.1.2. The reason for the pursuit; and

4.1.3. Any other information relevant to the safe and successful apprehension of the suspect.

4.2. Members shall document the reason for the pursuit in a Foot Pursuit Supplemental Report.

5. Supervisor Responsibilities.

5.1. Respond to the location and continually manage the pursuit.

5.2. Ensure members use tactical apprehension strategies instead of a foot pursuit, if appropriate.

5.3. Ensure the appropriate amount of resources are allocated to the incident, balancing the severity of the crime and necessity for apprehension with available resources.

5.4. Terminate pursuits that are inconsistent with this policy.

5.5. Following each incident, debrief with the involved members and, if feasible, all members on their shifts.

6. Responsibility Unit (RU) Manager Responsibilities.

6.1. RU Managers shall require all supervisors to review and debrief foot pursuits with all involved members and, if feasible, all members on their shifts.

7. Training Responsibilities.

7.1. The Training Division will ensure recruit-members receive training in the Advanced Academy on foot pursuit policy and techniques.

7.1.1. The Bureau will provide follow-up training, as needed, and offer debriefings, Tips and Techniques, roll call training, and in-service training.

8. Policy Exemption.

8.1. This policy does not apply to crowd management activities. Members shall refer to relevant training for guidance on foot pursuits during these events.

History:

  • Last Revision Signed: 12/15/2021
    • Effective Date: 01/14/2022
  • Next Review Date: 01/14/2024

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