Around here, law enforcement officers are nearly always allowed to independently determine their mode of response to a call based on the details. They seldom drive with lights and sirens. And it’s very rare to hear that they chose incorrectly.
In fact, they hold calls and stack them all the time. I’ve seen sergeants cancel responses just based on how stupid it sounds.* I envy them.
Furthermore, many law enforcement agencies don’t even chase anyone in vehicles anymore unless there’s a really, really good reason to chase someone down.
Looking toward the East Coast, a few years ago, FDNY – not exactly a bastion of ultra-progressiveness – stopped responding to a significant portion of their calls with lights and sirens. If FDNY can figure it out, everyone else should be able to figure it out.
Since we all work within the same legal framework, and driving with lights and sirens is very dangerous no matter what type of vehicle is used, and I write often about MPDS and how overly conservative it and the predetermined local responses are, why is it that I can’t choose my mode of response to what often sounds like total bullshit? Trading a few seconds for a much more dangerous ride to stupid calls doesn’t seem sensible at all, yet it is our norm.
We can constantly remind crews to use an abundance of caution, but that doesn’t take into account the unbelievably bone-headed behavior of the driving public in general. This seriously cannot be the way to do our work.