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Louisville, KY (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police have a new policy on chasing suspects.
Starting on December 7th, police will only be able to chase suspects for violent felonies. Those include suspects who have committed murder, assault, kidnapping, rape, and robbery in the first degree.
Officers will not be allowed to chase a suspect for traffic violations, misdemeanors, or non-violent felonies.
In October, police were chasing 64-year-old Joseph Johnson after a drug bust at 40th and Broadway. Police say Johnson's truck blindsided Stephanie Melson's car, killing the 31-year-old daycare worker and mother of three.
A police chase after a stolen car in January also left two people dead, one of them a bystander.
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad says, "My intent on making this change is not truly to tie our officers hands and keep them from being able to do their jobs. The reasons for these changes beyond trying to protect our community is to try and protect our officers. It is a dangerous job. It does involve risk taking, but I think it's my job as Chief to mitigate those risks."
Chief Steve Conrad says he is not telling officers that it's okay to let criminals go. He says in situations where the circumstances do not justify a chase, officers must use their training, tactics, and resources to arrest the suspect at a later time.
Conrad says Louisville Police were involved in more than 280 pursuits between January of 2007 and October of this year. Seven people died and 76 were injured.