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Courier editorial

POSTED: March 27, 2007 5:13 a.m.
One of the perks of the Coastal Courier’s new Web site is it enables readers to share their views on matters they feel are interesting by expressing their thoughts in their own blog or commenting one written by someone else. Courier bloggers have voiced their opinions on topics ranging from alternative healing to national security, ESPLOST to the problems at Walter Reed. Below is an example of a Courier blog.

To chase or not to chase?
Blogger: Pen2Paper
A fatal wreck March 9 in Beaumont, Texas, poses an interesting twist in an ongoing debate – if and when law enforcement should engage in the high-speed pursuit of a fleeing suspect.
On one hand, there’s the possibility a dangerous criminal could be taken off the streets before someone gets hurt.
Then again, anytime a panicked, thug runs from the law – on foot or in a vehicle – there’s the chance someone crossing his or her path might get injured or killed.
Needless to say, the rewards of a police chase can be great, and so can the ramifications.
In Beaumont, the worst-case scenario played out.
A man suspected of being involved in auto burglaries and auto thefts led police on a high-speed chase.
After traveling though a shopping center parking lot, the suspect drove into oncoming traffic.
Two people were killed – the suspect and a man who just happened to be driving in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The innocent driver also happened to be the 22-year-old son of a police officer.
Talk about hitting home.
Hopefully, the officer was not involved in the chase. The report didn’t mention it.
But no matter whose life is lost, it’s precious (excluding certain types of felons, in my opinion).
It would appear in this instance the police knew going into the situation the suspect was wanted for non-violent crimes (unless that detail wasn’t reported by the press).
If that was indeed the case, law enforcement opted to put the public at risk and attempt to apprehend a suspect who wasn’t believed to have physically hurt someone.
In the end, the decision to give chase cost them dearly – the son of a brother officer.
But the police might not have known exactly who they were trying to apprehend. The fleeing suspect could as easily have turned out to be a murderer or even a serial killer.
It’s a tough call.
To chase or not to chase.
What do you think?
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