Fairfax County police have stopped vehicle pursuits for traffic offenses.
“Our pursuit policy needed to be changed. I know it was included as one of the main tickets on our community matrix. It’s now a best practice,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis.
“We now have a gold standard policy regarding pursuits,” he said to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Fairfax County Police pursued 580 vehicles between 2017-2020, according to Davis. “Of those 580 police pursuits, 451 were for traffic offenses only, so that’s a huge chunk,” he said. “Now police officers are consistent with best practices across the country and in the DMV we don’t pursue for traffic offenses only.”
In both September and October, police recorded only one pursuit in each month.
“We will pursue for violent crimes against persons, that’s built into the policy, we absolutely will. And then there are exceptions built where we can have command and supervisory approval for the unique circumstances that inevitably arise in our professions,” Davis said, in his 100-Day Plan update to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 26 during its Public Safety committee.
One pursuit in 2017 resulted in critically injuring 12-year-old Amran Djama of Herndon. On Dec. 27, 2017. Amran rode with four other children in the family minivan that evening, driven by her mother, Filsan Duale. As their vehicle entered the signalized intersection of Centreville and Frying Pan Roads, carjacking suspect Brandon Stefon Vinson, 28, of Adelphi, Md. led FCPD officers in a vehicle pursuit with the department's helicopter assisting overhead. Vinson drove a pickup truck with an attached trailer through the red light at the intersection. The truck collided with the minivan, and the impact ejected Amran from the vehicle. She went through a window and landed on the road.
Amran survived but with ongoing disabilities. Her family moved out of the area because it was too painful to see the location of the crash, her father said.