JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — JSO's Vehicle Pursuit policy is 12 pages long and covers procedures for starting a vehicle pursuit as well as ending a vehicle pursuit.
First Coast News Crime and Safety expert Mark Baughman says that JSO did not follow their own policy.
Thursday night's high speed chase ended after Pamela Cabrera's vehicle flew off an on ramp and into a retention pond at a high rate of speed.
However, Baughman says that the pursuit should have been called off long before it ended.
"The fact that they knew who she was and had an opportunity to get her at a later time would have been a better avenue to pursue," said Baughman.
According to "Section D" of JSO's Vehicle Pursuit policy, officers shall terminate a vehicle pursuit "when the risks of conducting the pursuit outweighs the risks of allowing the subject vehicle to evade capture". Section D continues to describe that the pursuit should be terminated "when the subject has been sufficiently identified to enable future apprehension."
"Now you have the loss of a 5 year old child," said Baughman, "the risk of that pursuit did not outweigh her [Cabrera] capture. It's tragic what happened to this 5-year-old and it probably could have been avoided had they not pursued her."
Baughman also believes that since JSO knew who the suspect was they could have tracked her phone to apprehend her at a later and safer time. Baughman guesses that JSO will likely launch an internal investigation into why this pursuit continued for as long as it did.