How local police decide whether or not to pursue

Local police chiefs have been interviewed about high speed chase protocol after a fatal crash last week on Route 299 in Highland. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

After a high-speed chase along Route 299 in Lloyd ended with the death of a New Paltz woman whose vehicle was hit head-on in a July 1 incident, locals are seeking to better understand why such pursuits occur. In short, the involved officer must factor a lot of information in a short amount of time to make that decision.

Danielle Pecoraro, 39 of New Paltz, died when her vehicle was hit head-on by a Porsche Cayenne being driven by 29-year-old Ryan Williams of Poughkeepsie. Williams was fleeing from police at a high rate of speed at the time.


It was Lloyd officers who were called about Williams’ erratic driving, and when he raced off westbound on 299, it was they who initiated a pursuit later joined by New York State Police officers as well.

Town of Lloyd’s police chief, Daniel Waage, said that while some parts of the policy — focused on tactics and specific responses — would not disclosed publicly, “I am willing to say this at this time, pursuits or attempting to stop a vehicle is always a dangerous task. Many variables must be taken into consideration. For instance, weather, road conditions, traffic, pedestrians . . . must be weighed against the danger that the vehicle that law enforcement is attempting to stop poses.

“Considerations such as severity of crimes believed to have been committed or recklessness of the operator who law enforcement is attempting to stop, and his or her actions and potential danger to the public if law enforcement does not attempt to stop, must also be taken into consideration when making such decisions. These variables may change extremely quickly and must be evaluated in real time by the officer attempting to stop the offending vehicle.”

New Paltz police chief Joseph Snyder also provided feedback. Like Waage, Snyder declined to comment on the specific incident, in this case because he’s just not familiar with the details. He quoted portions of the policy directly, starting with, “The decision to initiate pursuit must be based on the pursuing officer’s conclusion that the immediate danger to the officer and the public created by the pursuit is less than the immediate or potential danger to the public should the suspect remain at large,” echoing Waage’s description.

“Any law enforcement officer in an authorized emergency vehicle may initiate a vehicular pursuit when the suspect exhibits the intention to avoid apprehension by refusing to stop when properly directed to do so,” the New Paltz policy continues. As in Lloyd, it includes a list of factors such as road conditions and population density, as well as the “relative performance capabilities of the pursuit vehicle and the vehicle being pursued.”

Snyder noted that the policy in New Paltz, which appears quite similar to that in neighboring Lloyd, meets state accreditation standards and fits the best practices recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Officers in that town take an emergency vehicle operation course every other year, which two New Paltz officers are certified to teach. In addition, policies and incidents are reviewed on an ongoing basis, Snyder said.

While Waage did not immediately respond to follow-up questions, presumably the Lloyd department has similar safeguards and training regimens in place.

There are 22 comments

  1. Fred V

    We Do Not Endanger The Public. Police Must Shoot Dead Any Fleeing Suspect.

    Wake Up, Such A Fleeing Suspect Is Using Vechile As Terroist Weapon, After 911 In Our Modern Violent Healvy Armed Society The Police Must Immeditaly Shoot Dead Any Fleeing Suspect Immeditaly.

      1. Alt Right NPZ

        In Response 10-4 , Nine one one is a slang short term refearing to sept 11 2001 when the Lower Manhattan NYC was attacked by muslim terriosists from saudi ariaba.

        Thank God Dear President Trump is banning most all muslims from travel to the USA my country where i was born. Hopefully we will see less in new paltz, id rather see American born students attending suny new paltz.

        illegial immigrants really have absoutly no right to enter the USA and should be jailed into labor camps.

        USA has a formal imigration policy, we will immeditally photograph and report any illegial immigrants we see in New Paltz directly to the i.c.e. hotline immeditaly.

        1. Ludwig

          No! @ alt right NPZ you are wrong.
          Nine one one (911) is for emergancy services.
          Nine eleven (9 -11) is in reference to September eleventh 2001!
          Perhaps @ 10-4 successfully trolled you?

        2. Ludwig

          “we will immeditally photograph and report any illegial immigrants we see in New Paltz directly to the i.c.e. hotline immeditaly.”
          -alt right NPZ-

          And how exactly will you be “immediately” determining people’s citizenship or immigration status in order to photograph and report them ? Will you be on main street demanding to see peoples papers? And under what authority will you be doing this
          Asking for a friend.

          1. alt right npz

            In New Paltz the walls have ears.

            Tell Your illegail Alien freinds get ready for a visit from ice.

            Dont harbor them or You will be sent to Federal Prison where You probally belong.

            3 years in Federal prison will grow You up and you will learn respect for immigration law.

        3. 10-4

          Illegal aliens are brought in by immigration lawyers with false promises of a green card and help with the citizenship process. Illegal aliens are used by the rich to do slave labor. Illegal aliens are the “help” today. And to the illegal alien, well, they lie too.

          You should have been here when the British burned the White House in 1812. Who was the head of the executive branch when that happened? In 1814, we took a little trip, along with colonel Jackson to the Mighty Mississip. We took a little bacon, and we took a little beans, and we fought the Bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

    1. FunkieGunkie

      Oh shoot first ask questions later? Let that sink in for a minute. You need help! You may have no idea why that person is fleeing. They could be scared for their lives, or having a baby, or in cardiac arrest, the list of circumstances goes on and on. Please get some training and talk to your supervisors about your need to kill people.

      1. Alt Right NPZ

        Fubkie Gunkie is wrong, Not Shoot First, Flee in Car First and be Shot dead By Police Second, thats how it shoud work.

        Any Terroist Driving any Moving Vechile In a Manner That Endangers Public Must Be Stopped With Full Deadly Force Immeditaly.

        We Arm Our Police With Guns To Use, This is not 1st Grade Wake Up.

        Obey The Law, when Police Say Stop You Stop.

        How Dare Some Person Drive A Vechile At Extreme Speeds For Reckless Pleasure.

      2. alt right npz

        Your statements are after the fact, once a vechile is speeding and ignoring orders from law enforcement it has become a terriost device and must be stopped.

        Wake up You foolish Liberal, see reality, do You really think a vechile traveling on main st new paltz at 100mph is something okay? are You that far out of reality?

        Mabey so, it is the Liberals that got Trump elected, thanks to that total old man foolish idiot nothing Bernie Sanders, Crooked Hillary lost the election. So now accept and live with Trump, trump is acutally the best thing to ever happen to the USA, USA got exactly what it deserved and needed, Donald Trump(:

        p/s i like your cute name are Funkie or Gunkie? mabey both, probally both ways….

    2. Ludwig

      Hey fred V consider this.
      Your loved one has been carjacked by a person with a gun pointed at your loved ones head, telling them to ignore the flashing lights and to keep driving or they will blow your @!&# head off.
      And your solution is to have LEO,S immediately kill the “fleeing suspect”, that’s your loved one they would be killing. But hey COPS SHOOTING HANDGUNS OUT THE DRIVERS SIDE WINDOW SOUNDS COOL!!! When one considers the difficulty of hitting a moving vehicle from a moving vehicle, or one considers that statistically more people are right handed and therefore fire their weapon with the right hand add speeding cars blaring radios and innocents all around, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG FRED? You realize movies are not real life right fred V? Oh and also those infants in car seats in the rear of the carjacked vehicle they’ll understand perfectly, if they survive. Your thinking is dangerous.

      1. Fred V.

        Sorry But once That Vechile Is Speeding It Could Kill More People Than its Current UnlikelyHijacked Victum.

        Agreed The Car Could Be Hijacked, However Most Likely Not The Case And The Clear Object Here is To Stop The Fleeing Car Giving Police Full Legal Power To Shoot This Terriost Dead Is Good idea.

        Once a Car Is Violently Resisting Police The Driver And Vechile Are Terriost Objects. And Must be Stopped. Persons Fleeing Police Should Also be Shot Dead Espically When Armed.

        p/s: my loved ones are heavly armed and not foolish enough to be a car jacking victum.

        1. Ludwig

          Fred, you are disalusioned! Google ” officer killed while sitting in patrol car” or for that matter Google OFFICER’S (PLURAL) killed while sitting in patrol car. Are you suggesting you and your relatives are more heavily armed and better trained than the average law enforcement officer.
          Your bluster is showing.

          1. alt right npz

            i doubt your real name is Ludwig, your bizzare bluster is your own delisounal reality, you enjoy it.

            using a dead persons name is very very bizzare and the freak way to behave sort of almost creepy.

  2. Defensive Driver

    There were two 18-wheelers that collided head on, killed both drivers; one apple truck collision where the stop light is at Lowes, plus a second death at that intersection when there was no stop light and somebody ran a stop sign, one dead police dog in a two police car collision, two or three bicycle accidents, and this chased by a police car accident. Its a killer, Route 299 from the Thruway to the end of the line. Do the new rail trail plans include concrete barriers for the stretch of it?

    1. Defensive Driver

      I was reminded that two 80 year old women were pulling out onto 299 after halting at a stop-sign when they got killed by a speeding police car. Two old ladies, obeying the traffic rules, dead.

      1. Fred V.

        Mabey They Were Too Old To Be Driving. When Was Their Last Eye Test?

        we dont need or want old foggies that cant hear or see driving.

        1. 911

          The 39 year old woman, or was she 29 years old, who is the subject of this article, is dead from having been hit by a Porsche sports car driving “erratically” being chased by a Lloyd police car with a cop with one hand on his walkie-talkie and his right foot on the gas pedal pushed to the floor in a turbo-charged six cylinder pursuit vehicle. The Porsche hit head on a 7-ton ,four door, eight foot bed Chevy truck equipped with driver front and side air bags (see the photo in the other newspaper on the front page). A woman in her prime who had done nobody wrong was a victim of circumstances. Your “blaming the victim” philosophy should fall on you.

  3. Firannion

    Fred V/Alt Right NPZ/Loyd K, why do you keep changing your handle, as if trying to imply that multiple people share your point of view? You do realize, don’t you, that Capitalizing The First Letter Of Every Word is not normal English? Or that it’s very improbable for different people to misspell the exact same words the same way every time? No, I guess maybe you don’t.

    1. alt right npz

      You Liberals are all the same.

      Glad Trump Won.

      Good Bye Roe/Wade. Abortion is a States Rights issue and back to the states it will go. Sooner than most think.

      Go cry with liberal nothing looser Bernie Sanders.

      *Liberals are all talk and generally lazy people.

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