In 2018, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was involved in 75 police chases. Already in 2019, that number is at 55. Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen says it’s time those involved are held to a higher standard than just a misdemeanor.
“It literally seems like we have one every other day,” said Harnen. “The instances of fleeing, especially high speed motorcycles have increased.”
Harnen said last week a chase began in Huntsville and came into Jackson County with speeds over 150 miles per hour.
“It’s a public safety issue,” said Harnen, adding that there have been three wrecks in the last three months, involving a motorcycle.
Harnen said the sheriff’s office is recommending a law change where fleeing to elude comes with a higher penalty.
“I have spoken with Rep. Tommy Hanes and another legislator in Huntsville,” said Harnen. “They’ve agreed to look into it.”
Harnen said he believes there should be a mandatory jail sentence, such as 30 days in jail, for a person found guilty of fleeing to elude.
“These chases can put everyone in danger, he said. “These people fleeing are not learning a lesson from just getting a ticket.”