Crash victim's family addresses ADDU board - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crash victim's family addresses ADDU board

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The family of a young Lee County man killed in a high speed police chase is calling for changes in the drug squad's chase policy.

Billy Klewitz's relatives addressed the drug squad board Friday, which was one of the conditions of their out of court lawsuit settlement. While Bill Klewitz was complimentary of the work the unit does, he had some harsh words for their policies and he urged them to ban high speed pursuits of suspects.

Nearly two years later, it's still difficult for the family to talk about this chase that killed 21 year old Billy Klewitz.

"There's a hole in mama's heart, she's lost her baby boy. I've lost my best buddie. My family tree died June 27th, 2007," said Bill Klewitz, Billy's father.

As part of their lawsuit settlement with the city and county, they addressed the ADDU Policy Board urging them to reconsider their chase policy or consider alternatives.

"What happened to the old fashioned road block what happened to spike strips, I'm sure you all have these units? Use them. They work. That could have been your wife, you're child," said Klewitz.

While the ADDU Board said what happened to Klewitz along this road was a tragedy and regrettable, they're not sure they'll change their policies.

"We're here to protect and serve the community and we never want to see anyone get hurt particularity in a situation like this," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

The unit's chase policy wasn't changed after the chase along Jefferson Street and Old Leesburg Road and we asked if the Klewitz's Friday made a convincing argument?

"As to whether we're going to change policy completely or specifically still remains to be seen. We continue to review the policies and we use what we feel more less an industry standard best policy," said Cheek.

The Klewitz family doesn't plan to give up.

"It's not going to get any easier to talk about it but what else can you do but talk about it, because how else is change going to happen?" questioned Brenna Klewitz.

"I'm going to keep talking about this and if nothing's done in due time I'll keep talking and I'll get louder," said Klewitz. In hopes that another family won't suffer their same loss.

The family will also address the Albany City Commission Tuesday night at 8:00 PM. They'll ask commissioners for more oversight of the drug unit.

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