Statement on January 24th, 2017 Pursuit
While we continue our investigation into this matter, we cannot comment on the specific details. However, we are able to offer background on standard protocol and procedures currently in place within the department:
First, to provide context on events that occur off-duty, all sworn officers in the state of Arizona maintain their peace officer authority 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. This ensures that law enforcement across the state is available to assist and respond if they witness criminal activity or if their assistance is requested, even when they are not on-duty.
Regarding directions given by personnel from other agencies to DPS personnel, all troopers, supervisors, and commanders have the responsibility of ensuring compliance with department policy. Specifically, DPS’s pursuit policy, which mandates that the pursuit commander is the one responsible for directing all primary, secondary and support units to include air units. DPS’s policy does not provide for orders to be given by the air unit in a pursuit. Any conclusions about this particular matter are premature.
At this time, DPS is providing the 911 audio recorded by both Gilbert PD and DPS. The release of these recordings is meant to provide clarity to the public on these events until the completion of DPS’s report. DPS’s investigation will determine all of the facts through a thorough investigation. DPS will not be answering any further questions on this investigation until it is complete.
“In keeping with the highest standards of Arizona law enforcement, our troopers everyday are put in situations both on and off-duty to respond to crimes committed against our citizens and communities. We would like to assure all members of the media that this is a thorough investigation, and will be conducted in a timely manner. Once the investigation is complete, we are committed to full transparency to make clear that actions of all employees are reviewed and appropriately addressed,” said AZDPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead.