(HorizonPost.com) – An Illinois state Senator last week voiced his support for lifting the restrictions placed on the Chicago police to allow them to engage in vehicle pursuits of suspects, The Center Square reported.
Republican state Senator Steve McClure told The Center Square that the current pursuit policy lets criminals know that “all they have to do is outrun the officer.” He said the policy currently in place encourages criminals to take risks knowing that the police will not pursue them.
McClure said he is hopeful the Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability will take quick action now that it is reviewing the city’s current policy on determining whether law enforcement engages in pursuit.
McClure said rather than a blanket policy, the city should allow the decision to be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on what road the criminal is on, what crime was committed before the chase, and the danger the individual poses.
He added that the decision should be based on “the facts on the ground” and made by the officers who are there.
McClure suggested that Chicago has already paid a high price for some of the policies enacted in the state legislature, particularly the 2021 SAFE-T Act that reformed police and criminal justice in the state.
He argued that there has been a “direct correlation” between the SAFE-T Act taking effect and the increased number of police leaving the state.
McClure called for a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system, including ensuring that Chicagoland retail theft is “prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” He argued that the lack of prosecution for retail theft conveys the message that some crime is “acceptable” and creates an environment that leads to further crime.
He added that the solution is to “create an environment that shows you’re going to be tough on crime.”
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