Oakland Police Department



A vehicle pursuit is an event involving one or more law enforcement officers attempting to apprehend a suspected or actual violator of the law in a motor vehicle while the driver is using evasive tactics, such as high-speed driving, driving off a highway or turning suddenly and failing to yield to the officer’s signal to stop.  The decision to engage in a pursuit to immediately apprehend a fleeing individual requires a careful weighing of the risks to the safety of officers, motorists, bystanders, and the public versus the benefit to public safety.   
The Oakland Police Department documents all pursuits conducted by its officers and tracks relevant information for each pursuit to include; if the pursuit resulted in a death, injuries, property damage, and the initial violation the subject vehicle was believed to be involved in. 
Injuries for pursuits range from minor complaints of pain up to severe injury or death, and can include injuries sustained by the officer, the pursued individual, or an uninvolved community member.  Property damage includes damage, however slight, to any of the involved vehicles, uninvolved vehicles, or any other type of property (i.e. light pole, fence, etc.).

Pursuit Trends

The chart to the right shows the trend in pursuit incidents and the percentage of pursuit incidents involving a fatality, some type of injury and some type of property damage.  

Pursuit Reasons

Pursuits may only be initiated when there is reasonable suspicion to believe the fleeing individual committed a violent forcible crime and/or a crime involving the use of a firearm, or probable cause that the individual is in possession of a firearm.  The top reasons for initiating a pursuit can be found in the chart below. 

Pursuit Conclusion Reasons

A pursuit must be terminated when the totality of circumstances during the pursuit indicates that the risks in continuing the pursuit reasonably appear to outweigh the risks resulting from terminating the pursuit.  The top reasons for ending a pursuit are listed in the chart below.