D.C. police prone to accidents, even though they aren’t allowed to conduct car chases 

Yesterday, The Examiner reported that Metropolitan Police Department’s police car fleet is prone to accidents. One in every two squad cars was involved in a crash just in 2009.

This startling news garnered a lot of public attention, getting linked at NBC, Washington City Paper, and even getting linked briefly at the Drudge Report.

You may attribute the news of D.C. police getting into wrecks to the glorification of car chases throughout the media, but the MPD is not allowed to partake in such romantic chase scenes.

The Examiner’s Harry Jaffe reported last year that after an MPD officer chased a criminal, he was threatened with termination. The charge – violation of an obscure police regulation that prevents MPD from chasing after bad guys called General Order 301.3.

General Order 301.3 is an MPD policy that prohibits cops from chasing suspects unless the suspect fleeing “poses an immediate threat of death” or had just committed a serious felony.

In other words, if the D.C. police pulls someone over for a minor misdemeanor, and they speed away, the police cannot give chase – and if they do, they risk termination.

So if you were thinking that D.C. police were wrecking their cars in Lethal Weapon-esque chase scenes, think again.

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Evan Gassman

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