By Dave Lopez

LOS ANGELES ( — Police pursuits are more dangerous than they need to be, especially for bystanders, according to a new report by the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury.

Using data from 2015, jurors found that in 421 high-speed chases in L.A. County, 11 percent of those police pursuits ended in death or injury. In the city of L.A., the rate was 15 percent.

“There are too many. We felt. They could be mitigated by better training. They’re just might not even be needed in many cases,” the grand jury’s forewoman Joanne Saliva said. “Policy has to be much tighter. Policies are all over the map.”

Overall, pursuits by the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department created unnecessary bystander injuries and deaths; most were not provoked by serious crimes and not assured of satisfying police goals, jurors reported.

Capt. Scott Gage of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said there is room for improvement, and a new facility will soon be ready to better train deputies in high-speed pursuits.

“What it does is it increases the quality and quantity of driver’s training we’re giving right now,” Gage explained.

The jury, however, gave high praises to the LAPD for its training facility.

“It is where we put all of our recruits through the paces. They hone their skills,” said LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein.

As for the flaws mentioned in the report, the department says it will respond in 90 days.

The 23 jurors took on the investigation independently. No law enforcement agencies were involved.


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