ADDU discusses chase policy and Jones' record - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ADDU discusses chase policy and Jones' record

June 29, 2007

Albany-  More information concerning the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit pursuit and crash that killed the suspect police were chasing and an innocent driver.

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Corporal Gary Price was close enough in his pursuit of Bobby Jones to catch the fatal crash on his car's dashboard camera. That video is not being released, but ADDU has released more about the unit's pursuit policy.

Corporal Gary Price's dash board camera was working Wednesday night and caught the pursuit of Bobby Jones. That tape is now part of the investigation and officers say Price was close enough to Jones to catch the entire crash. They'll use the tape and other information to figure out how fast everyone was driving. The pursuit provoked questions last night from Albany Commissioner Bo Dorough why a city officer may not follow the city's no chase policy. ADDU's policy is different and members are "expected to make reasonable efforts to apprehend violators who flee or otherwise attempt to elude."

"It's a situation we wish had never happened, but it does happen," said Sheriff Jamil Saba.

Sheriff Jamil Saba explained it's often a judgement made by the officer following department's procedures. According to ADDU's procedure, "it's understood the officer's ability to manage or control other motorists is limited...but officers should avoid contributing to the danger that has already been created by the suspect." The pursuit can be terminated if the suspect can be positively identified and police knew Jones.

"Bobby Jones, he has a, they know him and they've been knowing him, like I said we have three warrants on him and trying to find him," said Saba.

Chief James Younger told the City Commission Jones was a suspect in a shooting and robbery the city's investigating. Jones has also been in and out of jail and prison since 1993 facing various cocaine charges along with simple battery, theft, giving a false name, and interfering with custody.

Despite Jones record the pursuit continued and while Sheriff Saba calls the outcome a shame and sends condolences to the Klewitz's he said stands behind Corporal Gary Price's decision to pursue Jones.

"To me what I know of it, I think he used good judgement," said Saba.

The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team continues their investigation and will ultimately determine if the chase was justified. Albany Police say Bobby Jones was a suspect in a shooting June fourth at the Traveler's Inn. Two people were shot and another three victims were robbed.

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