YODER, Kan. (KSNW) – Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day. But, one of the most dangerous things they do is when they’re behind the wheel of a patrol car involved in a vehicle pursuit.
Sheriff’s deputies from Sedgwick County on Wednesday spent the day learning how to end vehicle pursuits safely.
Made famous by Hollywood as the PIT maneuver, the technique of stopping a car taught at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Yoder is called Tactical Vehicle Intervention.
Driving instructors at KLETC say when done properly, it’s a safe way of stopping a vehicle involved in a pursuit.
It amounts to “using the cruiser or the patrol vehicle in a maneuver to disrupt the pursuit vehicle in a safe manner,” said Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Lt. Tracy Sprier.
“This a, a precision maneuver, we want to do it correctly so we cause as little damage as possible, which in turn reduces the risk for injuries,” Sprier said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Lin Dehning said the maneuver often confuses those running from the law.
“The suspect fleeing probably won’t know what’s going on at the time, and hopefully it will disrupt them enough where they’ll stop,” Dehning said. “That’s the whole idea of this technique.”
The Tactical Vehicle Intervention technique is another tool in the law enforcement officer’s toolbox that officers use to end vehicle pursuits before they get out of hand and become a public danger.