Cannon County Constable Jim Gibbs attended a pursuit policy workshop at Union University in Hendersonville Tuesday. The program was provided at no cost to the county for officers in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from police vehicle pursuits.
Several organizations including ALERT International and the International Association of Chiefs of Police have partnered to provide a comprehensive pursuit policy program to officers throughout the country. This workshop addresses law enforcement vehicular pursuit policy issues, including factors to consider when initiating, conducting and terminating a vehicular pursuit.
Procedures discussed in pursuit policy workshops are consistent with the International Association of Chiefs of Police guidelines. Recognizing that pursuit driving is a very dangerous activity, police departments around the United States have begun to change their perspective of pursuits and their understanding of pursuit policy and training. The workshop is designed to provide law enforcement officers with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and successfully conduct vehicular pursuits.
Jim Gibbs who is a certified Peace Officer Standards of Training Instructor outside of Tennessee teaches the Vanessa Kay Free Emergency Vehicle Operation to constables for both the Tennessee Constable Council and the Tennessee Constable Association. The Vanessa Kay Free Emergency Vehicle Operation course is required annually for any person to drive an emergency vehicle in Tennessee.
Gibbs, who is a veteran police officer with experience in several states said the workshop was very informative and emotional. Two heart wrenching videos really brought home the message of the workshop. One was an emotional plea from the widow of an off-duty police officer who was killed in a crash of his car with a police car pursuing a suspect and the other video was the description of events by a mother of two brothers killed when a police car crash into their vehicle.
The course attended by officers from throughout Middle Tennessee and was taught by Officer Kenneth Hale of the Goodlettsville Police Department.