Only on Action 2 News: Green Bay police saw uptick in 2021 of squad vehicles being hit
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay police report an increase in their vehicles being hit by drivers who are not focused on the road.
Data we collected through an open records request shows the number of squad cars hit last year nearly doubled from the year before. This year, the department is on pace to beat that 2021 figure.
In video you’ll only see on Action 2 news, we obtained dash cam video of a pursuit involving a 21-year-old man that took place on March 18, 2021.
Authorities saw a vehicle driving on the wrong way of the road over the Mason Street Bridge.
Suspected of driving drunk, an officer used what’s called a P.I.T. maneuver to disable the car. Instead, the 21-year-old man continued along West Mason St. with four blown out tires, eventually colliding with a squad car.
The driver also rammed another police vehicle but was arrested a few seconds later for several charges, including operating while intoxicated and possession of controlled substances.
Phuechi Xiong, a traffic enforcement officer, says police go through training regularly on dealing with pursuits.
“Get those driving skills up and onboard and current, so when those situations do happen, You can revert back to your training, and stay calm in those situations and hopefully come out safe,” Xiong said.
There are also state and departmental policies governing pursuits.
“In our department, we have a pursuit policy of our own that’s pretty restrictive. We can only pursue for violent felonies. We can also pursue for dangerous driving behavior,” Xiong said. He has been on the force for nine years and was the Green Bay Police Department first Hmong officer in its 156-year history, according to reports at the time.
According to Green Bay police data on the number of times squad vehicles have been hit by other drivers, there were nine such incidents in 2020. The following in 2021 that figure nearly doubled to 16.
This year there have been six such incidents, including one in April that Action 2 News covered. Green Bay Police Sgt. Sean Hamill’s motorcycle was struck in a hit-and-run by an inattentive driver, according to police.
“I tell the guys it takes a lot to faze me, but it was definitely a moment where you sit back and [say] just what happened there?” Sgt. Hamill said during a news conference last month.
The driver that hit Sgt. Hamill’s motorcycle was arrested later by another officer.
Green Bay police want to stress that people pay attention to the road when driving and ignore all electronics if possible, including cell phones, radio, and GPS devices.
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