Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs

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Using qualitative and quantitative data obtained from 30 interviews with local law enforcement managers (12 county sheriffs and 18 municipal police chiefs), this study explores the decision-making processes used by these managers in the context of a pursuit-related accident involving an innocent third party. My findings suggest that: (1) managers most often conduct internal investigations to ensure that their officers’ behavior demonstrated adherence to the agency’s standard operating procedures; (2) managers use multiple mechanisms, including consultations with legal actors and professional peers, to keep their pursuit policies updated with regard to case law; (3) policy restrictiveness shares a positive, but marginal, relationship with a manager’s education level; (4) policy restrictiveness shares a negative, but marginal, relationship with a manager’s total number of professional association memberships; and (5) policy restrictiveness shares a significant negative relationship with a manager’s total years of law enforcement experience.



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