Milwaukee police union highlights challenges of vehicle pursuits

NOW: Milwaukee police union highlights challenges of vehicle pursuits

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Officials are investigating a series of crashes involving a Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) squad car during a reckless driving pursuit on Monday afternoon.

MPD Chief Jeffrey Norman said officers attempted to pull over a speeding car with no license plate. The driver sped off and officers pursued. An MPD SUV crashed into an uninvolved car. The driver crashed into two more.

Seven people were injured, including a 54-year-old man in critical condition.

Two Milwaukee police officers were released from the hospital on Tuesday, according to Milwaukee Police Association (MPA).

MPA President Andrew Wagner said the split-second decision officers make when choosing whether or not to pursue a reckless driver is risky for everyone involved.

"It might be dangerous, but it's also extremely important," Wagner told CBS 58.

Wagner said there are a number of risk factors that officers take into account while on a pursuit.

"Traffic conditions, weather conditions, time of day, speed of the pursuit," Wagner said.

MPD's pursuit policy has flip-flopped over the years. Former Chief Ed Flynn did not allow officers to chase reckless drivers. The policy reverted when former Chief Alfonso Morales took leadership.

"What we're seeing is a catch-up from back when we didn't allow pursuits," Wagner said. "Hopefully, we get back to the point where people respect the lights and the sirens enough to stop and pull over for the police, and they don't think they can just run and get away from everything like they used to."

MPD did not agree to an interview about their pursuit police on Tuesday.

Waukesha Police Department is the lead investigation agency. They did not have an update as of Tuesday evening.

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