GREENVILLE, SC – Greenville Police put the pedal to the metal throughout the month of June, training officers for low to high-speed chases.
All officers took part in Pursuit Driving Training at various locations, including airports, where they would undergo simulations and other driving exercises to better prepare for real responses.
“Part of our training that we do is to teach officers to not look so much in front of their car or the back of their car that they’re pursuing, but to look up the road,” explained Officer Stephen McLean, a driving instructor with the Greenville Police Department. “That’s called a high visual horizon. To be looking down the road for potential conflicts in a pursuit as they come, that way we can prepare for them.”
McLean said the chases involve much more than flooring it down a highway after a suspect.
A lot of the training involves multi-tasking.
For example, he said while driving at a high speed, officers learn to communicate with supervisors over the radio, relay and watch out for road conditions, and watch out for traffic on the street.
“The number one thing is to make sure if we engage in a pursuit, that we’re doing it as safe as possible. Ensuring the safety for the general public.”
Over the weekend, officers had to put their training to the test after receiving a call for a bank robbery on Haywood Road.
Police, along with Greenville County Sheriff’s Office deputies, wound up chasing the suspect, Quanterio Sitton, 30, of Greenville, down SC-86 until he crashed his car into a speed limit sign in Piedmont.
While not all chases end up at high speeds, police said the training is crucial for all pursuits.
“We never know what kind of situation we’ll get in on any given day, so it’s very important to be ready for that situation when it occurs,” McLean told 7-News.