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Car Chase Prompts Franklin County Sheriff To Review Pursuit Policies

Franklin County Sheriff's cruiser
Raymond Wambsgans

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is reviewing pursuit policies after a car chase resulted in a crash last week. 

The pursuit only lasted about five minutes, but the sheriff's office says speeds reached more than 90 miles per hour. 

"It's very premature for us to say this violated policy,” says chief deputy Jim Gilbert. “We can't say that until we have all the reports and statements all put together for the review." 

The sheriff's office says the chase started on November 11 when Lt. Ed Schillig, driving a marked patrol cruiser, attempted to stop a Ford F-150 near Georgesville Road and West Broad Street.  The driver of the vehicle refused to stop, which starrted the chase on southbound Georgeville Road and then continued east on Sullivant Avenue. 

Gilbert says the department has questions about just how fast the cars were going on busy Sullivant Avenue, and whether or not Schillig should have dropped the pursuit due to heavy traffic. 

Gilbert says that chase, which resulted minor injuries and the arrest of one suspect, along with a few other recent incidents prompted a policy review.

“We’re constantly looking to evaluate our current policy, which is being reviewed right now, and some changes are coming related to that pursuit policy,” he says. 

He estimates it will take a week or two to go through the reports and statements for this most recent chase.

In September, the Sheriff's Office instituted a new policy that requires all officers, regardless of rank, to respond to a remote supervising deputy during vehicle pursuits. That change was prompted by a number of crashes resulting from car chases, including a fatal February pursuit that also involved Lt. Schilling.