FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer
Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.
We have statutes in many states against distracted driving, including texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, and other technological multi-tasking. So given the prevalence of in-car computers in patrol cars and how they are often used by an officer who is driving, we have to ask if the rules governing distracted driving apply to police officers as well as the public.
Training is often a casualty of budget issues, and driver training usually doesn't rank as high on the priorities list as training in firearms and defensive tactics. But what activity do you engage in most while on duty? Unless you walk a beat, it's most likely driving.
Officers who underestimate a suspect's resolve to evade capture or overestimate their own limitations or those of the patrol car only enhance the dangers of vehicle pursuits. It's not just the lead unit in a pursuit that is imperiled. Upon hearing of a pursuit in progress, other officers may attempt to catch up and join the chase.
Making sure police officers can drive well is not enough. They must also keep their mental skills just as sharp to follow policy under stress and exercise good judgment throughout the pursuit.