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Dallas Police Department Stops Using Stop Sticks (Spikes) Because They’re Dangerous … for Police.

Stop sticks are those gizmos that are thrown across a road so when a car drives over them, the tires get punctured and the car can’t keep zipping down the road. They’re not exactly spikes: the company that makes them calls them strips of “quills” that allow the tires to lose air over time, so it’s not a sudden blowout that might cause a crash.

According to local television station WFAA-TV, there’s no record of any area law enforcement officer being hurt or killed because of a stop stick.

Dallas Police Department Stops Using Stop Sticks: They’re Too Dangerous

Which is why it’s surprising to learn that the Dallas Police Department has announced that the DPD won’t be using these stop sticks any longer. Next high speed chase in Dallas — no gizmo will be tossed over the road to stop the speeding car.

So, why stop using the stop sticks?  Is it because the chase might end in a crash that injures the driver of the speeding car, or passersby, or other citizens on the road?  No.

The Dallas Police Department is halting the use of these stop sticks because of a worry that a Dallas police officer might be hurt or killed in a high speed chase where a stop stick was used.  In other words, the cop might run over the stop stick or be involved in a crash with the suspect’s car (or maybe another police car).  (Fort Worth Police Department is considering doing this too.)

Has this happened a lot? There have been incidents where law enforcement officers have died in pursuit during a high speed chase where a stop stick was used.  In Texas, five officers died last year in a stop stick situation.

Stop Stick’s manufacturer asserts that its product is very, very safe and provides support on its website for the use of a stop stick.

What About Tasers?

If the police department thinks stop sticks are too dangerous for their officers to use, then they are within their rights to stop using them.  Here’s a question, though: what about tasers?

A recent study published by the American Heart Association confirms that using a taser stun gun causes cardiac arrests. Read the report here.

So, if the scientists have proven that tasers kill people, then are police departments going to start removing tasers from their departments, too?  Even though the victims of these products aren’t police officers but citizens?

Well, usually.  Check out our earlier post which lists several examples of tasers hurting and killing people and includes a video of a Dallas police officer accidentally tasering himself.


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