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4001 West McNichols Road
Detroit, Michigan 48221
The University of Detroit Mercy is a leading engineering, science and business school in Detroit. The privately run university has been exchanging engineering students with the Monterey Institute of Technology in Mexico for eight years, and initiated an e ... more
Criminal Justice Teacher
Professor of Criminal Justice
"In these type of events, some people are suicidal.
The person is not thinking they're going to get away with it in the long run.
They plan to have a good run and make their mark or statement," Dr. Homant said.
"There is a tendency for personality factors such as sensation seeking to affect the quickness, let us say, with which an officer pursued, broke off pursuit (or) followed policy," Homant said.
Some people enjoy adrenaline rushes, while other don't, Homant said.
Those who do are more likely to interpret possible pursuit situations as ones that warrant a chase.
"It's not as if you're going against policy, so much as you're interpreting the situation differently," Homant said.
"I've had officers admit to me that it was hard to break off chases that they knew they should break off.
After they broke them off, they said, 'Well, yeah I did the right thing by not pursuing further, but at the time, it was difficult to do that.' And they described it as not wanting to be beaten by the person that was eluding (them)."
Determining whether sensation seeking was a factor in an individual pursuit situation is almost impossible, Homant said.
Officers, though, should be trained to be aware of the adrenaline rush and how they are likely to react to it.
The key is to train officers in pursuit policy, and train them often.
"It needs to be clear what the policy is," Homant said.
"When you do (review policies often), most police officers are fairly good about simply following policy.
They're happy to break off pursuits, if that's what the policy is," Homant said.
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