Utica Police Chase, What's the Risk?

A chase through the city led the Utica Police Department on a pursuit Monday night. It began in West Utica and ended with the suspect crashing into an unoccupied parked vehicle on the side of the road. 

17-year-old Lauren Smith of Utica was arrested last night after stealing the car from New York Mills. As it turns out, Utica Police Chief, Mark Williams said incidents like this one are not a rare site to see in the city of Utica. 

"You might see maybe one or two a week. And a lot of times the pursuits are actually called off by a supervisor," Williams said. 

In every case, the officers have to weigh out the risk of the chase.

"They take into consideration, 'Are we in a commercial area, are we in a highway, are we in a residential area?' One of the factors to consider is speed--How reckless is the person's actions," Williams said. 

If the person commits a violent crime, the pursuit is more likely to play out, as they're causing a potential threat to the public. But in a case where someone may be fleeing because their drivers license is suspended, the chase may be called off. Still, for those considering this getaway, Williams said it's best to reconsider.

"The only thing I can say is that the risk is not worth potentially harming themselves or a third parties because if you seriously hurt or kill someone," Williams said.

All officers undergo special training to instill in their minds the true risk of a police chase.  

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