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Wellford Mayor Sallie Peake Defends No Chase Policy | WSPA
CHRIS CATO
Published: September 18, 2009

Updated September 18, 2009

(Wellford, SC)—The Mayor of Wellford is defending her policy which bans police officers in that city from chasing suspects. Sallie Peake says the policy also includes vehicle chases along with pursuits on foot.

A memo issued on September 2nd from Peake to all Wellford officers reads:

“As of this date, there are to be no more foot chases when a suspect runs. I do not want anyone chasing after any suspects whatsoever.“

WSPA first reported the mandate on Wednesday after an anonymous citizen faxed a copy of the memo to our newsroom. Peake was out of town and unavailable for comment. On Friday, reporter Chris Cato caught up with her in her office and questioned her about the origin of the policy. Peake says she issued the mandate because several officers have been injured during chases, driving up insurance costs for the town.

“The officers are costing us more money on insurance than most citizens here in the city of Wellford are even earning,“ says Peake.

She says the city is paying out $20,000 annually in workers’ compensation claims, much of it due to the police force. In July, two officers wrecked their cruisers while chasing suspects and had to go to the hospital for minor treatment. The police chief says three officers have been injured during foot chases in the last two years.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says the policy prevents police from upholding the law—a direct violation of their constitutional oath.

“If a bank robber or a drunk driver or a shoplifter or somebody with a warrant runs on foot, it’s our obligation to do what we can do to bring them to justice,“ says Wright.

But when we asked Peake about her order impeding an officer from stopping a crime in progress, she became defensive and irate. The conversation went as follows:

Reporter: “Are you telling your officers if they witness a crime - they witness someone commit a crime on someone else and they’re ten yards away - they can’t go stop that person?“
Peake: “Is that in there?“ (referring to policy)
Reporter: “It says no chases whatsoever.“
Peake: “Well, that’s what I said, no chases, didn’t I? I didn’t say nothing about a crime. If you see a crime, this that and the other -“
Reporter: “Well, that’s what a chase is - “
Peake: “Well, I told them no chase on foot, and (the police chief) know exactly what I mean, so you’re trying to twist what I -“
Reporter: “No, I’m not. You said no chases. No chases means no chases.“
Peake: (claps hands) “You got you a story, thank God! You are so sweet! You got you a story on a woman in Wellford! Hallelujah! I’m so proud of you, Mr. Cato!“

Click here to see the entire interview.

Wellford Police Chief Chris Guy has told his officers to abide by the policy. He says they can still protect the public.

“Just because a suspect may run does not mean we can’t identify them, sign warrants, and catch them later,“ says Guy.

But Sheriff Wright says when a suspect gets away, there is always the chance he could hurt someone before officers catch up with him.

Peake says that won’t happen in Wellford.

Here’s hoping the arm of the law really is long.


Posted September 9, 2009

The mayor of an Upstate city has issued an order that may handcuff her police officers and put citizens at risk, according to some.

News Channel 7 received a fax from an anonymous person identifying themself as “a concerned Wellford citizen”. Included was a memo written by Wellford Mayor Sallie Peake, addressed to all city police officers. Dated September 2, 2009, it reads:

“As of this date, there are to be no more foot chases when a suspect runs. I do not want anyone chasing after any suspects whatsoever.“

We have not been able to reach Peake for comment. The city clerk tells us the Mayor is out of town on vacation and is unreachable.

Wellford Police Chief Chris Guy confirmed the memo was legitimate. He says he has told his officers to abide by the order until he can sit down with Peake and talk about it.

“This came about because an officer twisted his ankle while chasing a suspect a couple of weeks ago,“ said Chief Guy.

He said he could not comment further until he has talked with Peake about how the policy will affect his officers’ abilities to perform their duties.

For an outside opinion, we went to Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.

“I’ve never seen a memo like that before, telling your police officers not to do their job,“ said Wright. “That’s strange.“

Wright says Peake has essentiall handcuffed her officers.

“If a bank robber or a drunk driver or a shoplifter or somebody with a warrant runs on foot, it’s our obligation to do what we can do to bring them to justice,“ says Wright.

He says the memo may actually be illegal because it directly conflicts with a police officer’s constitutional oath to uphold the law. And he says while it may protect officers from injury, it may also put citizens at risk.

“If you’ve got somebody that’s running from the police, whose to say they won’t break into your home to get away from law enforcement?“ said Wright.

He said he is going to ask State Law Enforcement Division if the memo is legal. In the meantime, he says he will add patrols to the Wellford area in case officers need help catching suspects who decide to run.

We will continue following this story and get answers from Mayor Sallie Peake.
 

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Ummm, do you think it might have been more reasonable to tell certain officers to shape up? LOL

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Well, that's just about the most asinine thing I ever read. Talk about liability for the city! Member of my family got killed or crippled as a result of that policy they'd have to change the name of the city to Bark'nville when I finished with them. :rofl:

Yeah, yeah... I know... Most cities are immune from suit over their policies, and probably the case here.

However, they mayor can probably be removed from office for such reckless policies.

I'm sure the State Police and Attorney Generals office will be involved before too long.
 

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(Wellford, SC)—The Mayor of Wellford is defending her policy which bans police officers in that city from chasing suspects.
There is no defense, for that. Police are BANNED from chasing criminal suspects. Wellford, SC: the new U.K.

Open-season for crime, in Wellford. They should rename the town. "Wellford" sounds to mundane and quiet. How about Criminalsville, in honor of the newfound power of criminals to evade responsibility for their actions? Yeah. That'll do it. But that'll have to be run by the committee, decided by the committee, 'cause only a committee can have been responsible for the policy change to not chasing criminals. Or, was the Mayor completely responsible for that misstep?

I can see it now. A mugging, rape or child abduction in progress is witnessed by police:
  • Criminal: Whacking little Johnny upside the head, before dragging him down the street.
  • Officer Bob: "Wait, Officer Link! We can't pursue him. He's a criminal, protected by the Mayor, and we're not allowed. Back to the doughnuts, like the good Mayor said, eh?"
  • Officer Link: "Well, I don't know, Bob. That seems awfully stupid, to me."
  • Criminal: Overhearing the officers discussing him, he says, "Not to me, it doesn't."

Does safety of citizens mean nothing, anymore, Mayor? Bueller ... Bueller ... Bueller ...

Madame Mayor? WTH is wrong with you?
 

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Just another fine example of well meaning politicians and there well thought plans!
 

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We must all realize that these are the same people who tell us in the event of a robbery or mugging or home invasion, the best policy is to COMPLY. Or in other words, just bury your head in the sand and hope it will all go away.

I wonder if that mayor would feel the same way if she had just been mugged?

It's just another bean-counter policy. $X per year in cost is worthwhile and $Y per year is not worthwhile.
 

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It's just another bean-counter policy. $X per year in cost is worthwhile and $Y per year is not worthwhile.
Deciding to avoid high-speed chases with police vehicles is one thing, which can be laid at the feet of the bean counters, sure. But I simply cannot find any rational reason to explain why chasing criminal suspects isn't in the best interest of everyone. It's not as though chasing a mugger from the scene of the crime would cost any more than not chasing him. I mean, the LEO is already on the job that hour ... why not catch the mugger? :confused:
 

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Well that is just about like putting up a sign that says "NO GUNS"... . Says,.. "FREE CRIME" to me.. I think crime will be going up in that town, then the mayor will say the LEO are not doing there job,.. GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 

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its open season.............

criminals get the upper hand again.

i sure hope the mayor dont have something bad happen to her. the police wouldnt be able to run after the criminal or chase them...
 

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disgusting....agree with sixto, can't say much more without violating forum rules
absolutely ridiculous
 

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Let's do a little research. Wellsford has a population of 2030. The nearest larger population area is Spartanburg.

Therefore, I would imagine that the police would actually be able to identify almost all the people they are running after. The whole town is only about 2 square miles.

Why put on a big show? Just drop by the miscreant's house later and pick him up. No sprained ankles. No dented Crown Vic. No disability claims .

It sounds to me that the chief enacted this after trying negotiation with his force.

I'm just guessing here.
 

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Let's do a little research. Wellsford has a population of 2030. The nearest larger population area is Spartanburg.

Therefore, I would imagine that the police would actually be able to identify almost all the people they are running after. The whole town is only about 2 square miles.

Why put on a big show? Just drop by the miscreant's house later and pick him up. No sprained ankles. No dented Crown Vic. No disability claims .

It sounds to me that the chief enacted this after trying negotiation with his force.

I'm just guessing here.
This assumes every perpetrator lives in the town.

Probably not a good assumption.

And the chief did not enact it - the mayor did.

Matt
 

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Why put on a big show? Just drop by the miscreant's house later and pick him up. No sprained ankles. No dented Crown Vic. No disability claims .

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Ok,.. What is to say he don't run again? They had better be able to funnel him to them, because if he can run, he will and they will not be able to chaser.. That is BS totally,.. I stand by my above post.. :image035:
 

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Deciding to avoid high-speed chases with police vehicles is one thing, which can be laid at the feet of the bean counters, sure. But I simply cannot find any rational reason to explain why chasing criminal suspects isn't in the best interest of everyone. It's not as though chasing a mugger from the scene of the crime would cost any more than not chasing him. I mean, the LEO is already on the job that hour ... why not catch the mugger? :confused:
I was refering to the insurance/liability costs so many of these so-called decision makers like to reference. If Officer A catches Criminal Z but sprains his or her wrist doing it, costing $Y in work-comp and other expenses. Is it more or less cost-effective to just let the crimminal go and hope that they do not commit any more crimes.

There are times when this type of reasoning is required in the operation of any organization, but in this case it is silly. As most of our estimeened LEO members can attest to, law enforcement is not a "safe" profession. There will be bumps, scrapes and worse, both to people and to equipment. But there has to be a little sanity in trying to control those costs. To basically tell the criminal population that Officer A will not chase them is tatamount to inviting them to do their worst.

Irresponsible government officials - :spankme:
 

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Ok, this is just stupid.

Next she will be saying that they can't do warrant enforcement because the officers might get injured during that. Seems I remember one of our members getting bit by a dog or something during a raid or warrant :wave:.

I do understand nixing the high speed pursuits, especially if in a highly populated area or residential area, but not letting the officers run after the bad guys is just nuts.

Maybe the city should make some requirements that the officers spend more time doing PT so that they were in better shape for the foot chases.

Wait, I have a solution. The LEO's should just shoot the bad guys when they run away and then they can walk over to them after their down and cuff them before the bus gets there to take them to the hospital if their still alive. Ahh, a solution that works for everyone. :banana:
 

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I was refering to the insurance/liability costs so many of these so-called decision makers like to reference.
I hear you. Though, the bean counters don't consider all of the costs very well, so very much of the time. The costs to society's practical safety and security is, on the whole, worth far more than "sprains to the wrist" and what not.

Though, on the whole, we could have another 30 million armed people on the streets tomorrow if we'd simply throw down our incessant micro-management of citizens via silly anti-gunner statutes that do little other than criminalize upstanding citizens. It would also take the extreme burdens off the courageous officers that put their lives on the line each day for citizens they don't even know. Overall, THAT would solve many things all at once, while simultaneously spreading the cost, the risk and the burden to a far more equitable degree than agencies and programs can every achieve.

*Sigh* :frown:

There are times when this type of reasoning is required in the operation of any organization, but in this case it is silly.
Bean counting has its place. But when safety and security is put at risk, you suck it up and do what's required.

Seeing as how we're financially mismanaging ourselves into the sewer, administratively, it seems far more important now than ever to consider the possibility of tossing much of the anti-firearms crap into the shredder and flipping the switch to "frappe." All we have to do is stop disallowing citizens the right to carry, as guaranteed in the 2A; stop criminalizing them for daring to defend their families; stop going after them unless it is proven beyond doubt they committed crimes willingly and knowingly and that they themselves were the attackers. We simply need to do the Vermont-style treatment, or something near to it.
 

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Next the mayor will issue order that the cops cannot shoot at the Bad guy due to the cost of ammo.The BG might also shoot back and and injure one of the officers which would cause a workers compensation claim. It seems like the mayor is a bean counter.This one takes the cake. The citizens of this town have good reason to arm them selves.
 
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