Should you be contemplating any criminal activity, rule one should be to travel first to Wellford, South Carolina. The reason you ask? Police there are forbidden from chasing you. The mayor has ruled that police chases are resulting in excessive worker’s compensation claims that are an undue financial burden on the town. So no chasing criminals, even on foot.
Mayor Sallie Peake was questioned about the odd policy by a local reporter, where she seemed to reveal that she hadn’t really given this as much thought as her constituents might have hoped. As near as I can tell from her relative incoherence, police are still empowered to stop a crime in progress, as long as it doesn’t involve any sort off chase whatsoever.
Reporter: “Are you telling your officers if they witness a crime – they witness someone commit a crime on someone else and they’re ten yards away – they can’t go stop that person?“
Peake: “Is that in there?“ (referring to policy)
Reporter: “It says no chases whatsoever.“
Peake: “Well, that’s what I said, no chases, didn’t I? I didn’t say nothing about a crime. If you see a crime, this that and the other -“
Reporter: “Well, that’s what a chase is – “
Peake: “Well, I told them no chase on foot, and (the police chief) know exactly what I mean, so you’re trying to twist what I -“
Reporter: “No, I’m not. You said no chases. No chases means no chases.“
Peake: (claps hands) “You got you a story, thank God! You are so sweet! You got you a story on a woman in Wellford! Hallelujah! I’m so proud of you, Mr. Cato!“
I can’t shake this mental image of a thief running out of a liquor store, sprinting 20 feet down the sidewalk and strolling slowly away. Turning occasionally to taunt his would-be pursuers with a rousing chorus of “Na na, na na, boo boo!”
Update: It seems that based on the advice of a local prosecutor who is a personal friend of Peake, the mayor has rescinded her no-chase policy. She went so far as to say officers can now “run, jump, climb trees, tumble, wreck cars, whatever they want to do.” At least it’s refreshing to know the mayor has the emotional development of a six-year old in addition to the reasoning power. (No offense to six-year olds intended)