ViewPoint: When and how far should police chase?

June 24, 2008

We couldn't believe our eyes as we watched the video of an Albany drug agent chasing a suspect through Albany.

Officer Gary Price threw caution to the wind and embarked on a miles-long, high speed chase through the heart of Albany, putting lives in danger along the way.

Price sped up Jefferson Street in pursuit of drug suspect Bobby Jones.

The two of them blew through 13 intersections along the way, and ran red lights at five of them. Much of the dangerous chase happened in the turn lanes of Jefferson.

Sadly, it's not surprising that two people were killed.

Billy Klewitz and Bobby Jones didn't have to die that night.

Drug Agents knew the man running from them was Bobby Jones. They didn't have to chase him down and catch him that night. Yes, drug agents risk their lives to protect us, and we're grateful.

But what we witnessed on that video tape was an officer, seemingly with a cowboy mentality, putting his need for speed ahead of public safety.

That's inexcusable.

The board that oversees the drug squad needs to step up, clearly define the chase policy for these officers and then enforce their own rules.

Billy Klewitz and Bobby Jones deserved better. So do the people of Albany.