Lawmaker wants task force to find better solutions for police chases
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana lawmaker wants to create a task force to potentially come up with better solutions to police chases.
The proposal for the task force comes in response to the deaths of Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill during a police chase in late December of 2022.
Sen. Caleb Kleinpeter, R-Port Allen, said the creation of the eight-member task force would include a member of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, the District Attorney’s Association, the Police Chief’s Association, a state representative, and a member from the Senate to serve as chairman.
Part of the task force’s goal would be to study what went wrong during several police chases that resulted in innocent people losing their lives.
“Law enforcement was in pursuit when one of the officers in the pursuit broke policy by running a red light and t-boning a car with the teenagers in it at a very high rate of speed,” said Sen. Kleinpeter.
He said he understands police sometimes need to chase suspects down but added there needs to be a better way to determine if pursuing someone is worth the risk to other drivers.
“I don’t have all the answers, but what I do know is that I have spoken to a lot of law enforcement and personnel, and they’re in support of this resolution because it’s getting out of hand,” continued Sen. Kleinpeter.
In the audience on the morning of Tuesday, April 18, was Caroline Gill’s father, Jason.
“I’m trying to, uh, I guess, really stop this from happening to some other families or lessen the chances of it happening,” said Jason Gill. “I’m at the point now where I can be a little more vocal and I can get out now and talk about it, so it’s a, I’m at a good point now.”
He said he understands these things can take time but believes the resolution is the path to getting a better idea of where Louisiana needs to be with state laws.
“I think that Caleb has what I want in mind and what the other families, the Dunn family, and the Elliot family have in mind too. So, I think we’re on the right path,” explained Jason Gill.
The resolution made it swiftly out of committee with a unanimous vote. The Senate then voted 36-0 in favor of the resolution on Wednesday, April 19. It next heads to the House for consideration.
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